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Exotic Mammals in Australian Zoos

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Chlidonias, 11 Jul 2015.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    This is a list of all exotic mammals currently found in Australian zoos (and in some cases in private hands and research facilities because these may enter zoos at any point). I have put subspecies only where it is relevant. The localities for some species won't be complete, especially the deer and camelids, so I have made notes to that effect where appropriate.

    I have attempted to include origin data for the current stock of all species but this is of course a bit patchy. Some species are well-documented, others are not. The origin data is not intended to be an account of every individual animal except in those cases where only a few unrelated individuals exist - it is instead mostly to do with the origins of the zoo populations as a whole.

    Because adding all the origin data to the list on the original thread made it far too long to be contained within a single post I have had to re-start it as a brand new thread, with the list split into two posts. The third post in the thread is a compilation of "former" exotic mammal species in Australian zoos. This is divided into two parts, firstly those species which died out post-2000, and secondly those species which died out between 1980 and 2000.

    The original thread (which is now locked, but in which all posts can still be read) is here: Exotic Mammals in Australian Zoos - old version

    That original thread had its genesis in a thread by CGSwans, which can be seen here: exotic mammals in each Australian zoo

    A discussion thread was also created when I was looking for some of the origin data, and that can be seen here: Australian zoo mammal histories

    Corrections are welcomed.


    *Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) – Melbourne; Perth; Taronga; Western Plains Zoo

    The first Asian Elephant in an Australian zoo was a female named Jessie imported from India in 1882 for the zoo at Billy Goat Swamp (the fore-runner to Taronga Zoo, which officially opened in 1916 on a different site); she died in 1939.
    Of the ones currently in the country, Melbourne has a female (Mek Kapah) imported from Malaysia in 1978, and three females (Dokoon, Kulab, Num-oi) imported from Thailand in 2006. Their breeding male (Bong Su), imported from Malaysia in 1977, died in Oct 2017. Melbourne has bred 3.2 calves to date (2.1 surviving). One of the (deceased) calves was fathered via AI by Perth's male (Putra Mas), all others by Bong Su.
    Perth has three elephants: one female (Tricia) imported from Singapore in 1963, and a male and female imported from Malaysia in 1992 (male Putra Mas and female Permai).
    Taronga's group (now split in two, with some at Taronga and some at WPZ) was started with a 2006 import from Thailand of one male (Gung) and four females (Tang Mo, Porntip, Thong Dee, Pak Boon), which have produced 4.1 calves to date (one of them sired via AI by Melbourne's bull). WPZ also has two old ex-circus females (Burma and Gigi).


    *Common Zebra (Equus quagga) – Altina; Australia Zoo; Darling Downs; Melbourne; Mogo; Monarto; National Zoo; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; Perth; Taronga; Zoodoo

    There are about 70 Zebras in Australia, and they can be roughly divided into three groups of stock (although in general all are treated as one population, and individuals are moved around between zoos).
    The first group are the hybrid-subspecies descendants of original imports to the major zoos (Taronga, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth). All had kept Zebras since the early 1900s. Probably Taronga's were the dominant founders but I don't know anything much otherwise. This stock forms the basis of the current groups at Taronga, Western Plains, Mogo and National Zoo.
    The second group is from 2.6 Chapman's Zebras imported to Werribee from Rotterdam Zoo (Netherlands) in 1980 (and later a male from Singapore Zoo c.1997). Monarto's and Melbourne's current Zebra herds are derived from Werribee.
    The third and most recent group are ten Grant's Zebras imported by DDZ from various zoos in the USA in early 2014. Some of these went to Zoodoo.
    The other zoos have odds and ends: Altina (from Werribee), Australia Zoo (from Werribee), Perth (from National Zoo). There have also been a few imports of individual animals from NZ.

    *Persian Onager (Equus hemionus onager) – four at Western Plains Zoo

    The remnant herd here is descended from eight animals, these being 2.2 from Rotterdam Zoo (Netherlands) in 1979, and 1.3 from the USA in 1982. [I have seen several different versions of these numbers and dates - the ones I give were from an article released by the zoo itself].

    *Przewalski's Horse (Equus (ferus) przewalskii) – Altina; Halls Gap; Monarto; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; also about 20 at Fernhill Estate in Mulgoa

    The entire world population is descended from just nine founders. The first one in Australia was a male at Adelaide in 1910 (paired with a donkey). The current Australian zoo population is descended from 4.9 animals imported in 1982 to WPZ (via Melbourne Zoo) from the UK (Whipsnade, Marwell, and Midway Manor). First birth was in 1984. Adelaide also imported a pair in 1981 from the UK. The privately-held animals at Mulgoa are from 1.8 imported to the Pearl Coast Zoo from Marwell in 1987/88, which later went to Tipperary. There are about 65 in total held in Australia but a large proportion are post-reproductive or castrated. Animals from Australian zoos have been used in reintroduction programmes to Mongolia.


    *Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris) – two females at Adelaide; one male and one female at Darling Downs; one male at Melbourne

    The last remnants of a good-sized population formerly breeding at Adelaide, Melbourne and WPZ. All are related, most are now elderly, and none are in breeding situations. Adelaide's are a mother and daughter. DDZ's male was WPZ's breeding male (at Alma Park since 2012, then DDZ since 2013), and the female was bred at Adelaide in 1998 (at Taronga since 2006, then DDZ since 2014). Melbourne's male was bred at WPZ in 2006 (kept at Melbourne since 2012).

    *Malayan Tapir (Tapirus indicus) – two females at Adelaide; one male at Hunter Valley Zoo; one female at Melbourne

    The current zoo stock results from four animals imported in the late 1990s. To Taronga: a male from Toronto Zoo (Canada) in 1996 [at Hunter Valley since mid-2015] and a female from Philadelphia Zoo (USA) in 1998 [died 2008]. To Adelaide: a male from Singapore Zoo in 1997 [died 2008] and a female from Henry Doorly Zoo (USA) in 1998 [still at Adelaide]. A female was born at Taronga in 1999 [kept at Melbourne since 2001], and a female at Adelaide in 2000 [still at Adelaide]. All individuals in Australia are now blind.


    *Southern White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) – Altina; Australia Zoo; Mogo; Monarto; National Zoo; Perth; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo

    The first White Rhinos imported into Australia were three (1.2) to WPZ via Taronga in 1980 from Longleat and Woburn (UK), followed in 1981 by a pair to WPZ (also via Taronga) and a pair to Werribee, all four coming from Whipsnade (UK). A male was imported to Werribee from Emmen Zoo (Netherlands) in 1997, a female to Monarto from Singapore Zoo in 2000, and groups of wild-caught animals were imported from South Africa in 1999 and 2002 to Werribee, WPZ, Perth and Monarto. A number of additional NZ animals have been imported since 1990, including the original pair at Perth in 1990 from the USA via Orana Park. The first birth in Australia was at WPZ in 1981, and they have since bred at all of the listed holding zoos except National (three males from NZ in April 2014), Mogo (two males from Australia Zoo in Jan 2015), and Altina (one male from Auckland Zoo in Sept 2016, and two females from Australia Zoo and Serengeti-Park Hodenhagen [Germany] in Oct 2016).

    *Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) – Monarto; Western Plains Zoo

    Taronga imported several from Kenya and Tanzania between 1947 and 1950, and bred nine at the zoo between 1958 and 1975. Kept at WPZ since 1991 when the last two animals in Australia were sent there from Taronga (two females: one had been bred at Taronga in 1958, and the other had come from Perth in 1981 [imported 1950/51]). In 1992 nine (2.7) wild-caught animals were imported to WPZ from Zimbabwe (2.1 died soon after), followed in 1994 by four males imported from zoos in the USA (one of these males later spent a couple of years at Taronga c.2005/2006). There have been many calves born at WPZ (about a dozen, including those now at Monarto [two males]).

    *Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) – one pair at Western Plains Zoo

    The male Dora was imported to Taronga from Nagoya Zoo (Japan) in 2001 and then moved on to WPZ in 2003. A female named Kua was imported from San Diego Zoo (USA) in 2006 but died at Taronga in 2007 before being moved on. A new female, Amala from Oklahoma City Zoo (USA), was imported in 2009. The first (only) breeding was a male calf born in October 2015, which sadly died from a Tetanus infection in Sept 2017.


    *Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) – Adelaide; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo

    The first Hippo in Australia was at Adelaide in 1900 (died 1901), but the first breeding pair were at Melbourne, imported in 1913. The species has been in the country continuously since then, but there are only eight founders for the entire Australasian population. The current total in Australia is about a dozen animals.

    *Pigmy Hippopotamus (Hexaprotodon liberiensis) – one male at Adelaide; one male at Melbourne; one pair at Taronga plus a female young

    The first individual in Australia was imported to Taronga in 1954 from Washington (USA) and many were bred in at least five zoos between the 1960s to 2000s. Currently there are just five in the country, all of which are related. The sole remaining adult female is Kambiri, born at Taronga in 2010 (to Honolulu-born male Timmy, imported in 1981, and Adelaide-born female Petre). Petre was born in 1984 (to Melbourne-born Henry and Janice) and died at Melbourne in 2016. The two adult males are brothers Felix (at Melbourne) and Fergus (at Taronga), bred at Mareeba in 2006 and 2009 (to Melbourne-born male Kumbe and Broome-born female Fluffy). The last male is Obi, now at Adelaide but born at Melbourne in 2015 to Felix and Petre. A male named Pi, imported from Washington in 1970, sired the fathers of Petre, Kumbe and Fluffy (and the latter two shared the same father).


    *Arabian Camel (Dromedary) (Camelus dromedarius) – Altina; Australia Zoo; Darling Downs; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mansfield; Oakvale; Shoalhaven; Tasmania Zoo; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; Wings Wildlife Park; Zoodoo. [Also undoubtably held on show in other small collections apart for the ones listed here]

    Introduced to the wild (via released domestics) in the mid-1800s.

    *Guanaco (Lama guanicoe) – one at Darling Downs; otherwise currently only in very low numbers in private hands.

    DDZ has (or had) a male on loan from a farm. Otherwise the last in a zoo were three pairs at Western Plains Zoo until around 2009/2010 when they went to a private holder in Taralga (NSW). Taronga had them at least as far back as the 1940s, and were probably the original importers.

    *Llama (Lama glama) – Caversham; Darling Downs; Hunter Valley; Mansfield; Oakvale; Shoalhaven; Symbio; Zoodoo. [Farmed in Australia so undoubtably held on show in other small collections apart for the ones listed here]

    *Alpaca (Vicugna pacos) – Adelaide; Altina; Australian Walkabout Wildlife Park; Ballarat Wildlife Park; Caversham; Green Valley Farm; Gumbuya Park; Halls Gap; National Zoo; Oakvale; Peel; Symbio; Tasmania Zoo; Wagga Wagga Zoo; Wildlife HQ; Wings Wildlife Park; Zoodoo. [Farmed in Australia so undoubtably held on show in other small collections apart for the ones listed here]

    Llamas and Alpacas have been kept in Australian zoos and farms at various times since the 1800s, but the current stock is largely the result of private imports from NZ (from Chilean imports) in 1988, followed by direct imports from Peru and Bolivia. There are now something like 200,000 Alpacas in Australia and 7000 Llamas.

    The following are the collections where we know these deer species are being kept. There are many small collections in Australia which undoubtably hold one or more of these on public show as well. All are also held in private hands.

    *Rusa (Cervus timorensis) – Altina; Cooberrie; Mansfield

    Introduced to the wild in various areas between the late-1800s and mid-1900s, with stock coming from Java and the Moluccas. Now also farmed commercially.

    *Sambar (Cervus unicolor) – Mansfield

    Introduced to several parts of the country from the 1860s through to the early 1900s, using stock from India, Sri Lanka and Sumatra. Now also farmed commercially.

    *Red Deer (Cervus elaphus) – Altina; Darlng Downs; Halls Gap; Mansfield; Monarto; Peel

    Introduced widely from the mid-1800s to many parts of the country, with all the stock being English. Now also farmed commercially (in part with imports from NZ after 1985).

    *Wapiti (Cervus canadensis) – Altina; Halls Gap; National Zoo

    Not found wild in Australia. The species was first imported in numbers from NZ and Canada for commercial deer farming in 1985; however there may have been some in zoos prior to this also (from NZ stock).

    *Fallow Deer (Dama dama) – Adelaide; Altina; Birdland Animal Park; Caversham; Cooberrie; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mansfield; Mogo; National Zoo; Peel; Rockhampton; Symbio (still?); Tasmania Zoo; Zoodoo

    First released into the wild in the 1830s in Tasmania, and later elsewhere on the mainland until the early 1900s. Now also farmed commercially.

    *Persian Fallow Deer (Dama (dama) mesopotamica) – Monarto

    All the farmed stock in Australia is hybrid, derived from imported mesopotamica sperm used to artificially inseminate female dama in the 1980s. Monarto's animals are from this hybrid farm stock.

    *Spotted Deer (Chital) (Axis axis) – Caversham?; Hunter Valley Zoo

    The first deer species to be released into the wild in Australia. There were many releases throughout the 1800s in many parts of the country. All were from India. Now also farmed commercially.

    *Hog Deer (Axis porcinus) – Altina; Halls Gap

    Introduced to the wild in Victoria in 1866 (12 animals from India) where they became established. Zoo animals derive from the wild stock.


    *Giraffe (Giraffa camelopardalis) – Adelaide; Altina; Australia Zoo; Darling Downs; Halls Gap; Melbourne; Mogo; Monarto; National Zoo; Perth; Taronga; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo

    Up until the 1980s all the giraffes in Australia were descended from the herd at Taronga. In the 1920s and 30s many were imported to Australia, but the only zoo to sustain breeding was Taronga and their animals supplied the other zoos. The Taronga herd was descended entirely from three animals (a pair imported from Africa in the 1930s and a female from USA in 1950) until the import of a male from Honolulu Zoo (USA) in 1983 (which was related to the 1950 female). Melbourne's current breeding female came from Ouwehands Zoo (Netherlands) 1997. All further animals which have been imported since the 1990s have been from NZ (from Orana's Rothschild's herd and Auckland's hybrid herd [the latter is also partly descended from Honolulu Zoo animals]). There are about 70 Giraffes in Australia.


    *Banteng (Bos javanicus) – Altina; Crocodylus; Western Plains Zoo. Also in private hands

    The Banteng in Australia are all descended from a group of about 20 domestic animals (“Bali cattle”) released in the Northern Territory in 1849. The current zoo and farm animals derive from the feral population.

    *Domestic Water Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) – Altina; Caversham; Crocodylus; Halls Gap; Mogo; Oakvale; Rockhampton; Shoalhaven; Symbio; Western Plains Zoo; Wings Wildlife Park. [Also probably held in other small collections apart for the ones listed here]

    The Australian population is descended from about 80 animals imported from Indonesia to settlements in the Northern Territory between the 1820s and 1850s, which were later released to become feral.

    *African Forest Buffalo (Syncerus caffer nanus) – one female at Werribee; one male at Western Plains Zoo

    Only two animals left in the country. The male is castrated. The original stock was imported from the UK in the late 1980s.

    *American Bison (Bison bison) – Altina; Halls Gap; Mansfield; Monarto; Werribee; Wings Wildlife Park. Also in private hands.

    As with NZ the founder stock was gift pairs from the Canadian government to various Australian zoos in the early 1900s. The only later additions were from NZ (at least one import from Auckland Zoo to Adelaide around the 1950s). There are only about 40 Bison in zoos, but they are also held privately (the farmed stock derives from the zoo stock).

    *Barbary Sheep (Aoudad) (Ammotragus lervia) – Altina; Darling Downs; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Monarto; National Zoo; Western Plains Zoo. Also in private hands.

    About 160 in zoos, all descended from imports to Taronga. Originally from just one pair, imported from Africa in 1929. Later imports were two animals in 1952 from National Zoo (USA) and one male and three pregnant females in 1957 from Honolulu Zoo (USA).

    *Himalayan Tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus) – Altina; Halls Gap; Mansfield; Taronga; Wildlife HQ

    Descended from one import of three animals from NZ to Taronga in 1932. I don't think there have been any later additions, and there are only about 40 left in zoos here.

    *Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) – Altina; Darling Downs; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mansfield; Monarto; National Zoo; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; Wildlife HQ. Also in private hands

    The Australian zoo (and private) population derives mostly or entirely from Taronga which was breeding them in large numbers from an original stock of three pairs in the early 1900s. Ultimately they probably originate from the same stock as the wild population in Western Australia (released c.1898). There are about 280 held in zoos in Australia.

    *Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) -- only in private hands

    The last on public display appear to have been a pair at Monarto in 2009/2010 (the last of the old Adelaide stock). All the stock currently left in the country - none of which are in zoos - is descended from a 1987 import of 1.3 animals from Marwell Zoo (UK) to the Pearl Coast Zoo (closed 1991), which later went to Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary (closed 2004).

    *Eland (Taurotragus oryx) – Altina; Monarto; National Zoo; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo

    Bred in large numbers at Taronga since initial births in the 1940s (the animals were imported direct from Africa). At one point Taronga only had one breeding female, so the current animals must be extremely inbred. There are currently well over 100 in the country.

    *Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus) – Altina; Monarto; Taronga; Western Plains Zoo

    There are just seven Bongo in Australia, only two of which are females. One female was imported in May 2017 from Wellington Zoo (NZ), originally from Singapore Zoo. All the other Bongos in Australia are descended from three animals (2.1) imported from the USA in 1995. (A second female in that import had died without offspring).

    *Nyala (Tragelaphus angasii) - Monarto; Werribee

    Seven animals (3.4) were imported from New Zealand in November 2016.
    The only other Nyala in Australia in recent decades were two pairs imported to the Pearl Coast Zoo from Marwell Zoo (UK) in 1988. After the zoo's closure in 1991 they went to Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary, and later may have gone to the Mary River Station (Tipperary closed in 2004). They had all died at some point between 1991 and the 2000s though.

    *Common Waterbuck (Kobus ellipsiprymnus) – Altina; Monarto; Werribee

    Less than fifteen left in the country, all descended from a trio (1.2) imported by Werribee from Honolulu Zoo (USA) in 1995.

    *Addax (Addax nasomaculatus) – Altina; Darling Downs; Monarto; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo. Also in private hands.

    The zoo stock (c.60-70 animals) is mostly descended from 2.5 imported by Werribee from Fossil Rim (USA) in 1994. The stock in private hands is descended from two imports by the Pearl Coast Zoo of one pair (?) from Midway Manor (UK) in 1988, and 12 animals from the USA via NZ in 1991; these later went to Mary River after the zoo's closure. Altina's animals came from Mary River, as do some additional animals at the other zoos.

    *Scimitar-horned Oryx (Oryx dammah) – Altina; Monarto; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo. Also in private hands.

    Mostly descended from 5.4 imported to the Pearl Coast Zoo from Marwell Zoo (UK) in 1987, and four from the USA via NZ in 1991. Others also appear to have been imported to other zoos from Orana Park (NZ) in the 1980s and 1990s.


    *Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu) – Melbourne

    The entire (formerly very large) Australasian population was derived solely from one pair imported to Wellington Zoo (NZ) from Canada in 1969. In 2005 there was only one non-castrated male left in Australia (at Melbourne), which was then mated with several of the remaining females. The last individual at Adelaide (a male) was sent to Melbourne in 2015. Currently there are only seven animals left in Australia. The last peccary in New Zealand died in 2011.


    *Ring-tailed Lemur (Lemur catta) – Adelaide; Altina; Australia Zoo; Currumbin; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Oakvale; Perth; Symbio; Taronga; Tasmania Zoo; Western Plains Zoo; Wildlife HQ

    Population seems in good shape, with about 100 animals in the country, but I don't have any details otherwise. There have been many imports from Europe and the USA so there are a reasonable number of founders.

    *Black And White Ruffed Lemur (Varecia variegata) – Australia Zoo; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Western Plains Zoo

    There are about 30 Ruffed Lemurs in Australia but most of the animals in the country were produced from the breeding pairs at Perth and Mogo. Melbourne and National mostly hold elderly females bred at Hamilton Zoo (NZ).

    *White-fronted Lemur (Eulemur albifrons) – two at Gorge

    Perth Zoo imported eight animals in 1983 and kept/bred them until the 1990s. The last three were sent to Western Plains Zoo. I think one died there and the last two went to Gorge Wildlife Park around 2009 or 2010. These two were born in 1993 and 1994 at Perth.

    *Golden Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus rosalia) – Adelaide; Halls Gap; Melbourne; Mogo; Perth; Symbio; Wildlife HQ

    This species is managed internationally but the Australian population is in pretty poor shape now. Historically they have bred well here, since the initial main import by Adelaide of five pairs from the National Zoo (USA) in 1980 (descendants of which are still in the country), but now there are only about 30 animals, many of them elderly and few breeding. Currently Adelaide and Mogo are having good results. There are several imported animals from the USA, Europe and Singapore along with the Australian-bred ones.

    *Emperor Tamarin (Saguinus imperator) – Adelaide; Darling Downs; Melbourne; Mogo; Perth; Wildlife HQ

    The former mixed-subspecies population in Australian zoos was phased out, and new European imports of pure S. i. subgrisescens were made to Melbourne and Perth in the mid-2000s. In 2013 there were some additional animals imported from Europe and South Africa. The last male in NZ, originally from Germany, also went to Australia in 2013.

    *Cottontop Tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) – Adelaide; Alexandra Park Zoo; Crocodylus; Currumbin; Darling Downs; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hartley's Crocodile Adventures; Hunter Valley; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Symbio; Taronga;Tasmania Zoo; Wild Animal Encounters; Wildlife HQ

    In Australasia this species is entirely managed by a studbook system and has a number of international founders. I don't know any details about the population but there are over 100 individuals in Australian zoos.

    *Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) – Altina; Cooberrie; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mansfield; National Zoo; Shoalhaven; Symbio; Tasmania Zoo; Wildlife HQ; Wild Animal Encounters; Wings Wildlife Park; Zoodoo. Also in research facilities.

    There are about 70 or 80 Common Marmosets in Australian zoos. The species has been in the country for a long time but their ancestries are largely unknown and most are probably related. There have been no imports since the 1970s but many also came into zoos from laboratory situations.

    *Pigmy Marmoset (Cebuella pygmaea) – Adelaide; Darling Downs; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Symbio; Tasmania Zoo; Wildlife HQ

    The three main breeders in the country are Adelaide, Perth and Mogo, which all imported them in the early 2000s (Perth also in the early 1990s). There have been several further imports in the later 2000s from Europe and the USA. There are now about 60 animals in Australian zoos.

    *Bolivian Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri boliviensis) – Adelaide; Hunter Valley; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Taronga

    Composed of remnant older stock from 1970s imports (subspecific-hybrids and mostly post-reproductive) and new stock (pure S. b. boliviensis). The new ones are an import of males from Apenheul (Netherlands) in 2010; an import of two males and twelve females from La Boissierre du Dore (France) in 2014; plus additional animals from NZ (bred from an import of 30 animals to NZ in 2012). When the new imports occurred there were only about a dozen of the older animals left in Australia.

    *Black-capped Capuchin (Sapajus (Cebus) apella) – Altina; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Shoalhaven; Tasmania Zoo; Wild Animal Encounters; Wings Wildlife Park; Zoodoo

    This species has been kept and bred in zoos and circuses for a very long time, and the population is very inbred. Animals from NZ have been brought in, but I don't know when the last ones from outside the region have been imported. Currently there are about 100 animals in Australian zoos.

    *White-fronted Capuchin (Cebus albifrons) – Gorge; Mansfield

    Originally at Perth Zoo (since the 1930s). The last ones (by then just 2.1) from Perth's colony went to Halls Gap in 2010, and from there to Mansfield in 2013. The group at Gorge (less than ten animals) probably also originated at Perth.

    *Geoffroy's (Black-handed) Spider Monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) – Banana Cabana; Billabong; Crocodylus; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Melbourne; Western Plains Zoo; Wildlife HQ

    This species has been widely kept in Australian zoos since the early/mid 1900s and the resulting population is a subspecific-hybrid mix. There are less than 30 animals left in the country and most are now either post-reproductive or are not in effective breeding situations (most are in pairs, trios, or single-sex groups).

    *Douroucouli (Aotus sp) – only in a Brisbane research facility of the ADF

    The Australian Defence Force (ADF) imported 46 individuals from the USA in 2007/2008 for research into mosquito-borne diseases. Forty others were similarly imported for research purposes in 1982/1985, and there were a few in zoos also at that time. In the 1980s all Aotus were treated as one species, A. trivirgatus, so it is impossible to be precise as to identities. The more recent ones (2007/2008) were imported as Nancy Ma's Douroucouli A. nancymaae but this may or may not be accurate.

    *Black And White Colobus (Colobus guereza) – Melbourne; Monarto; National Zoo

    Formerly in two separate breeding groups dating back to the 1980s, at Melbourne (C. g. guereza from the UK) and Perth (C. g. kikuyuensis from the USA). The two groups were later mixed. A male was also imported to Monarto in 2006 from the USA. There are only about a dozen left in the country, however they are still kept in breeding groups at Monarto and National.

    *De Brazza's Monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus) – one at National Zoo

    Formerly well-established in the major zoos since the late 1970s, although derived from only a few founders (3 in 1978, 1 in 1989, and 1 in 2001). A halt to breeding by ZAA in the early 2000s reduced them to a remnant of post-reproductive "retired" animals. In 2015 there were five animals left, at Mogo, National and Tasmania Zoos. There is now just one, at National Zoo.

    *Vervet (Chlorocebus sp.) – Werribee

    A group of ten was imported in 1996 from the USA. All the current animals (c.15) were bred at Werribee.
    The animals were imported as C. aethiops (formerly all Chlorocebus were lumped as C. aethiops), and now are labelled as C. pygerythrus johnstoni by the ZAA and the zoo itself. However see this post and those following it (Exotic Mammals in Australian Zoos) which discuss why the animals are probably hybrids.
    Perth also kept a Chlorocebus species until late 2006 when the remaining four animals (one of which was a baby born that year) were sent to Gorge. These appear to have all since died. These animals were called C. aethiops by the zoo and listed by the ZAA as being C. aethiops johnstoni.

    *Mandrill (Mandrillus sphinx) – Adelaide; Tasmania Zoo

    Formerly in other zoos also, including Taronga until early 2000s (possibly derived from a 1953 import of three animals from Africa) and Melbourne until late 2017 (see below).
    Adelaide's troop started in 1964 with 1.2 from Berlin Zoo (Germany), two of which turned out to be hybrids with Drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus). In 1975 they got a pure male from Taronga and paired him with their one pure female (removing all the hybrids, so the troop was thus derived from just two pure animals). In 2008 they replaced their original male with one bred at Melbourne. The retired breeding pair were sent to Tasmania Zoo; the elderly male died in 2015 leaving just the elderly female at Tasmania Zoo. In July 2016 an excess male from Adelaide was sent toTasmania Zoo to keep the old female company.
    Melbourne's original troop was from a pair from Berlin Zoo, of which the female was a hybrid (Mandrill X Drill). Their later (pure) troop was established with females from Adelaide in 1996 and a male from Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (Israel) imported in 2000. By 2017 there were only three animals left at Melbourne: the male died in July 2017 and both the females were put down for health reasons in Sept 2017.
    All current stock in the country thus appears to be descended from only three founders (two males, one female) but I'm open to correction. There should currently be eight animals in the country, with 1.4.1 at Adelaide (one baby was born 9 October 2017) and the non-breeding pair at Tasmania Zoo.

    *Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas) – Adelaide; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Melbourne; Perth; Wildlife HQ. Also in research facilities.

    There are quite a number of Hamadryas Baboons in Australian zoos (about 40), but almost all are related and historically the populations have been poorly managed with castration of males being commonplace. Melbourne's group is by far the largest and dominates the zoo population. It was initially started with a female imported through Perth in 1948 and a male from the Ceylon Zoo (Sri Lanka) in 1949; there was probably no new blood until a large group (3.14) was imported from Dierenpark Emmen (Netherlands) in 1998, and then a further two males from the USA in 2012 and six females from Wellington Zoo (NZ) in 2015/16. Adelaide's former troop was established with 1.3 imported from the Berlin Zoo (Germany) in 1972, but their current animals are from Melbourne and Wellington stock. Perth's original animals were imported from the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo (Israel) in the 1950s but now have additions from Melbourne and Adelaide. The baboons at the smaller zoos are all from Melbourne (or descended from that stock) apart for two females at DDZ which were imported from the Warsaw Zoo (Poland) in 2012.

    *Japanese Macaque (Macaca fuscata) – Gorge; Launceston City Park

    The enclosure at Launceston in Tasmania held Rhesus Macaques from the late 1800s to 1979, after which the city council imported ten Japanese Macaques from the Japanese Monkey Centre in 1980 (in exchange for Red-necked Wallabies); currently the colony contains about 25 macaques. The three old animals at Gorge are the remnants of the former breeding group at Perth, rather than being surplus from Launceston.

    *Crab-eating Macaque (Macaca fascicularis) – Banana Cabana; Green Valley Farm; Hunter Valley; Tasmania Zoo; Wings Wildlife Park; Zoodoo. Also in research facilities.

    This species was widely held in zoos and circuses in the past, but as with all the macaques has been greatly diminished over the last decade due to zoo fears of Herpes B virus. Probably only about 15 left in zoos. Hundreds have also been imported from Indonesia for research facilities.

    *Southern Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina) – currently only in research facilities

    Over 300 individuals were imported from Indonesia between 2000 and 2009 for research facilities. Formerly they were also widely held in zoos and circuses.

    *Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta) – Banana Cabana; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Mansfield

    This species was widely held in zoos and circuses in the past, but probably only 10-15 animals left in zoos now.

    *Bonnet Macaque (Macaca radiata) – Banana Cabana; Mansfield

    This species was widely held in zoos and circuses in the past, but it seems that there are now only two old animals left in the country.

    *Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus) – Rockhampton; Tasmania Zoo

    This species has been kept in all the major zoos through the 1900s. The last two groups (both very inbred) were at Adelaide and Melbourne. Fears about Herpes B in macaques caused breeding to be stopped and the remaining animals were later retired to smaller zoos in the last few years. Now there are only five elderly females left, the last male in the country having died in 2014 at Rockhampton.

    *Sulawesi Black Macaque (Macaca nigra) – one pair at Tasmania Zoo

    The last remnants of the breeding group formerly at Perth, originating with animals imported from Singapore Zoo and Jersey Zoo (UK) in the 1990s. The last animals were sent to Tasmania Zoo in 2008 (there were also two Perth-bred males at Mareeba). Of the remaining pair, the male had gone from Perth to Mareeba in 2003, and then to Tasmania when Mareeba (by then called Shambala) closed in 2013; the female had gone direct Perth to Tasmania in 2008 as part of a larger group (2.2 animals).

    *Dusky Langur (Trachypithecus obscurus) – four animals at Adelaide

    The group at Adelaide is descended from three founder members: a wild-caught female confiscated by airport Customs as a baby in 1989, a female imported from Singapore Zoo in 2001, and a male from Twycross Zoo (UK) in 2004. A male imported from Wuppertal Zoo (Germany) in 1989 died without breeding. There have been a number of babies bred in the group. The 1989 female and 2004 male both died in 2015, the 2001 female died in July 2016, and there are now just four sibling animals (2.2) left at the zoo.

    *Francois' Langur (Trachypithecus francoisi) – Mogo; Taronga

    One pair was imported by Taronga from Nagoya Zoo (Japan) in 2004, a second pair from Beijing Zoo (China) in 2010, and a female from Blijdorp Zoo (Netherlands) in 2012. The original pair has since been exported (in 2013 and 2014). First bred at Taronga in 2009 and several years since. Mogo has two males from Taronga (since late 2016?).

    *Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus) – Adelaide; Darling Downs; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Tasmania Zoo; Western Plains Zoo

    Except for Tasmania Zoo which only has a lone male originally bred at Melbourne, all the other holding zoos have breeding pairs (or potential breeding pairs). Adelaide has two family groups, some individuals of which were bred there and others of which were imported from Edinburgh in 2006, San Francisco in 1997 and Auckland in 2006. Melbourne's pair is a male imported from Germany in 1991 and a female bred at WPZ in 1997. Mogo's pair was imported from Edinburgh in 2006. National's pair were obtained in 2016, with a male from Orana Park (NZ) and a female from Mogo. The pair at WPZ came from Adelaide in 1989. The pair at DDZ also came from Adelaide (with a juvenile), in June 2017.

    *White-cheeked Gibbon (Nomascus leucogenys) – Adelaide; Melbourne; Perth; Taronga

    Adelaide's pair are a male born at Duisburg Zoo (Germany), imported 2006, and a female born at Melbourne. Melbourne's current pair (arrived 2017) is a Perth-bred female and a male imported to Perth from Toledo Zoo (USA) in 2016; Melbourne's previous pair were both wild-born, the male imported in 1978 from Nagoya Zoo (Japan) [still at the zoo] and the female from Brownsville Zoo (USA) in 1981 [died 2017]. Perth's original pair were wild-caught (imported direct in 1974) - the male is still alive and partnered with a Melbourne-bred female. Perth's other pair is a male imported from France c.2010, and a Perth-bred female. Taronga's pair came from Perth in 2010: the male was born at Doue la Fontaine (France), imported 1999, while the female was born at Wellington Zoo (NZ), imported 2005.

    *White-handed (Lar) Gibbon (Hylobates lar) – Gorge; Mogo; Western Plains Zoo

    Formerly the commonest of the gibbons in Australia, now just a few elderly animals left. The pair at Western Plains came from Melbourne in 1982, where they had been born. The three males at Gorge are also ex-Melbourne. The two females at Mogo are likely to be ex-Melbourne also.

    *Silvery (Javan) Gibbon (Hylobates moloch) – Mogo; Perth

    The current breeding pair at Perth were imported in 1992; the male was born at Berlin Zoo (Germany) and the female at Assiniboine Park Zoo (Canada). The breeding pair at Mogo are a male bred at Perth and a female from Howletts (UK). Both zoos have bred several young. Taronga formerly also had a pair, the male from Howletts and the female bred at Perth; after the death of the male in 2009, the female was sent to Howletts.

    *Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) – Adelaide; Melbourne; Perth

    Adelaide has 1.1 - the male Kluet was born at Jersey Zoo (UK) in 1995, and imported in 2003 to Taronga. The female is Puspa, who was born at Perth in 1975. Female Karta, born at San Diego Zoo (USA) in 1982 and imported to Adelaide in 1992, died in January 2017.
    Melbourne has a breeding pair: male Santan born at Toronto Zoo (Canada) in 1977 (imported in 1987) and female Maimunah born at Zurich Zoo (Switzerland) in 1986 (imported in 1992); plus their two offspring, male Menyaru born 2003 and female Dewi born 2010.
    Perth has a large number (usually between ten and fifteen), initially established with one pair (male Atjeh and female Puan) imported in 1968 from the private zoo of the Sultan of Johore. They were imported along with two female Bornean Orangutans (named Binte and Mawas); all three females bred at Perth but all the hybrids were exported to Indian zoos. Currently Perth only has Sumatran Orangutans. Atjeh died in 1996 and Puan is still alive. The only other Orangutan currently at Perth which wasn't born there is Dinar, born at Toronto Zoo (Canada) in 1987 (imported 2004). Male Hsing-Hsing, born at Singapore Zoo in 1975 (imported in 1983), died in December 2017. Animals bred at Perth have been used for reintroductions to the wild in Sumatra.

    *Hybrid Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus X Pongo abelii) – two at Melbourne; two at Taronga

    Melbourne has two hybrid females, Kiani (aka Suma, born 1978), and her daughter Gabby (aka Kamil, born 1990); both were bred at Melbourne.
    Taronga has a male Jantan (born 1987) and a female Willow (born 1985); both were bred at Taronga. They are currently off-display at Taronga and due to move to Mogo Zoo.
    All of these hybrid animals are non-breeding.

    *Common Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) – Monarto; Rockhampton; Taronga

    The first Chimpanzee in an Australian zoo was probably a female at Taronga in 1909. Today Taronga's breeding group is one of the most successful in the world. Currently about 20-strong, it is descended from six animals imported between 1947 and 1970; many Taronga-bred animals have been exported worldwide. In late 2015 Taronga imported two new females from Givskud Zoo (Denmark) and one female from Warsaw Zoo (Poland). Of the other major zoos, Melbourne last held Chimps in 1993 (the remaining going to Taronga); Perth last held them in 1999 (1.2 from Taronga, exported to Ishikawa Zoo in Japan); and Adelaide last held them in 2009 (2.0, one bred at Adelaide and the other bred at Taronga, which went to the new Chimp exhibit at Monarto). Monarto's group was started with four males in 2009 (the two from Adelaide and two imported from Wellington Zoo in NZ) and four females in 2010 (imported from Burgers Zoo in the Netherlands). Rockhampton originally had two Taronga-descended brothers from Natureland Zoo in Queensland, obtained in 1986 (one died in 2013), but in 2012 obtained the last two animals (0.2) from Mogo Zoo and in 2015 imported two more (1.1) from Ramat Gan (Israel). The original Chimps at Mogo were a brother-sister pair from Bullens (ex-circus) obtained in 2006, followed by a father-daughter pair imported from Willowbank (NZ) in 2009; the NZ male died in 2009 and the Bullens male in 2011. The Chimp enclosure at Mogo now houses Gorillas.

    *Western Lowland Gorilla (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) – Melbourne; Mogo; Taronga; Werribee

    First kept at Melbourne in 1973 when a wild-caught pair arrived from Gabon, with the first baby born to this pair in 1984; further animals have come from Jersey Zoo (UK), Howletts (UK) and Taronga. Werribee holds surplus males from Melbourne (since 2011).
    Taronga's first gorilla was imported from Africa in 1959; they displayed seven individuals through the 1960s and 70s. Their current animals are a mix of animals from Apenheul (Netherlands), La Vallee des Singes (France), and Melbourne, along with ones bred at Taronga. Mogo holds a family group from Taronga (since 2013), based around animals imported from Apenheul (Netherlands) in 1996.
    Last edited: 17 Jan 2018
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007

    *generic African Lions (Panthera leo) – Adelaide; Altina; Billabong; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Hunter Valley; Mansfield; Melbourne; Mogo; Monarto; National Zoo; Perth; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; Zoodoo. Also at Zambi (not open to public).

    Lions have been in Australia since the 1800s and the current population (about 70 or 80 animals) is a tangled mess of ex-circus animals, old zoo stock and new imported zoo stock. I wouldn't even know where to start with unravelling it all!

    *White Lion (Panthera leo krugeri) – Altina; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Hunter Valley; Mansfield; Mogo; National Zoo; Shoalhaven; Tasmania Zoo; Zoodoo

    All imported White Lions were from South Africa, initially 1.2 by Mogo (in 2004) then 2.2 by Zoodoo/DDZ and 1.1 by National (all in 2009). All others in the country are descended from those imported animals. Dreamworld has also had White Lions on short-term display, on loan from other zoos.

    *Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) – Adelaide; Australia Zoo; Darling Downs; Dreamworld; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Symbio; Taronga; Western Plains Zoo

    There are about 40 Sumatran Tigers in Australia but there is a high degree of relatedness. The base of the population was a pair each at Melbourne (Frank and Poetry) and Taronga (Nico and Meta) in the 1980s. Poetry and Nico had the same father (at Rotterdam Zoo, Netherlands), and that animal was the brother of Meta's father. Almost all the tigers bred in Australia can be traced back to these four founders in some respect, but there are also seven unrelated imported animals (3 males, 4 females) which have contributed to the zoo population (a fifth female, Malu, imported from NZ in 1997 is from the Nico-Meta bloodline). The only Australian-bred animals which are entirely unrelated to the Melbourne-Taronga lines are litters produced at Dreamworld from male Raja (imported in 2005 from Krefeld Zoo, Germany) and female Soraya (imported in 2003 from Berlin Tierpark, Germany).

    *generic Tigers (Panthera tigris) (hybrids and whites) – Australia Zoo; Crocodylus; Dreamworld; Mogo; National; Symbio. Also at Zambi (not open to public).

    Most of the generic Tigers in Australia (the so-called "Bengal Tigers") derive from animals at Bullens (ex-circus). Those at Symbio (1.0) and Crocodylus (1.1) were bred at Bullens. Mogo has 1.1 originally bred at Bullens, as well as 0.1 bred at Mogo from that pair. Australia Zoo's 1.2 Tigers were bred at Mogo in 2007. Dreamworld has some Tigers from Bullens but their original animals were 3.3 (including white ones) imported from the USA in 1995; they also imported an orange female from Krakow Zoo (Poland) in 2013 and two white females from Hirakawa Zoo (Japan) in 2016. National's two males came from Dreamworld.

    *Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) – Billabong; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo

    The first Snow Leopards in Australia were a pair imported by Melbourne in 1983 from the USA (the male from the Bronx Zoo and the female from the San Antonio Zoo). In total, five males and five females have been imported, and just over a dozen cubs have been produced. The first cubs were born at Melbourne in 1985; they have also been bred at Mogo and Taronga.
    Melbourne's most recent breeding pair was a male imported from Nindorf (Germany) in 2003, and a female imported from Stuttgart (Germany) in 2003; one of these animals died in 2017. Melbourne has now imported a new pair in October 2017, a male from Nuremberg Zoo (Germany) and a female from South Lakes (UK).
    Mogo's pair is a male imported from Nordens Ark (Sweden) in 2010, and a female bred at Mogo in 2003 (Mogo's previous breeding pair was a Melbourne-bred male and a female imported from Helsinki (Finland) in 1998).
    Billabong has four animals, all from Taronga: a sibling pair bred in 2005 (at Billabong since 2012) and also Taronga's breeding pair (moved to Billabong in 2015), this pair being a male bred at Mogo in 2003 and a female imported from Mulhouse (France) in 2003.
    National Zoo holds a sibling pair bred at Mogo in 1999.

    *Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) – Australia Zoo; Billabong; Darling Downs Zoo; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mogo; Monarto; National Zoo; Symbio; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; Wild Animal Encounters

    There are about 40 Cheetahs in Australia, two-thirds of which were born in the country. Monarto and WPZ are the only breeders, their original stocks being imported from South Africa in 2001. All the other zoos are holders of non-breeding animals. The animals currently held which were not born in Australia are 2.0 from Orana Park (NZ) at WPZ (imported 2012) and 2.0 at Symbio (imported 2016); 2.0 from Overloon (Netherlands) at Monarto (imported 2013); 3.1 from Hamerton (UK) at DDZ, Hunter Valley, and WPZ (imported 2017); and various South African imports (which currently should be 0.1 at WPZ from the 2001 imports; 2.0 at Australia Zoo from 2004; 0.1 at National from 2006; 2.0 at Australia Zoo from 2012; 0.2 at National from 2013; and 2.0 at Billabong from 2015).

    *King Cheetah – two females at Western Plains Zoo

    Two sisters born at WPZ in Oct 2009 to "normal" Cheetah parents. One female has since had several litters herself but all have been of normal pattern. The National Zoo formerly held a male King Cheetah, imported from South Africa in 2006; he died in 2008 but his half-sister (of normal pattern) still lives at the National Zoo.

    *Puma (Puma concolor) – one female at Dreamworld; one female at National Zoo (off-display, likely now dead); one female at Zambi (collection not open to public).

    The remnants of a formerly sizeable population, kept and bred at several zoos and circuses in the country. The female at Dreamworld has been there since 1995 along with her sister (recently-deceased); they were bred at Bullens in that year. The female possibly still at the National Zoo arrived there in 2001 along with a male sibling (now dead); they were bred at Melbourne Zoo in 1997. The female at Zambi was bred by Bullens in 2001. The last major zoo to have Pumas was Melbourne, their last one dying in 2011.

    *Caracal (Caracal caracal) – Wild Animal Encounters

    One pair was imported from South Africa in late 2017. These are presumably of the South African subspecies C. c. caracal.
    Prior to the current import there used to be Caracals in several Australian zoos, the last of these former animals being a pair at Adelaide Zoo. The female died in 2007, and the male was sent to Melbourne Zoo in 2008 where he died in late 2013. These were Asiatic Caracals C. c. schmitzii which are from India and the Middle East.

    *Serval (Leptailurus serval) – Adelaide; Altina; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mogo; National Zoo; Tasmania Zoo; Werribee; Wild Animal Encounters

    There are about 25 Servals in Australia, most of which are related to some degree. Almost all of those currently in Australia were originally imported from NZ (mostly bred at Auckland Zoo) or were bred at Mogo Zoo (Mogo's breeding pair was a male imported from Auckland in 2003 and a female imported from South Africa's National Zoo in 2005). There are also Melbourne- and Adelaide-bred Servals in the country.

    *Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) – one pair at Taronga

    The female was bred at Newquay Zoo (UK) in 2012 and imported to Taronga in late 2015. The male was bred at Rotterdam Zoo (Netherlands) in 2015 and imported in early 2016. The previous Australian population had collapsed by the late 2000s. Melbourne and Taronga had a pair each and bred them in the late 1990s and early 2000s respectively. The few at the other zoos (Perth, Adelaide and Crocodylus) were probably individuals from those litters. At least one individual was imported in the mid-2000s (a male to Taronga from Singapore in 2005). Apart for two sent to NZ in 2009, the dozen or so animals in the country ten years ago all eventually died of old age. The last survivor of that population was a female born at Taronga in 2002 which died in late 2015.

    *Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) – one female at Crocodylus

    Formerly common in Australian zoos (Adelaide in particular was breeding them regularly). Probably all or most were directly related. This last surviving one was born in 1994.


    *Eurasian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos arctos) – one female at National Zoo

    The last of a trio of ex-circus animals (a male and two females) which had been at the zoo since 2000. The male died in late 2015, and one of the remaining females in 2015 or 2016.

    *Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) – three adults at Sea World, plus one cub

    There have been a total of six adult Polar Bears imported to Sea World since 2000. The current three bears are a female born at Leningrad Zoo (Russia), imported 2001, and two wild-caught males imported in 2004 from Quebec. Three cubs have been born: a male in 2013, which was exported to the Cochrane Polar Bear Habitat (Canada) in 2015; and two in April 2017 (one died soon afterwards, and the surviving cub was a female).
    Polar Bears have formerly been kept in other Australian zoos also, notably Perth (until 1980), Taronga (1984), Melbourne (c.1986) and Adelaide (c.1986).

    *Sun Bear (Helarctos malayanus) – Adelaide; National Zoo; Perth; Taronga; Wildlife HQ

    Most of the Sun Bears in Australia were originally rescue animals from Cambodia (or Thailand in the case of Adelaide's male bear). National Zoo's male was born at Wellington Zoo (NZ), and Adelaide's former female (died 2013) was born at Singapore Zoo. Only two cubs have been bred in Australia, a female at Perth in 2008 (now at Wildlife HQ, but previously at the now-closed Alma Park Zoo since 2011) and a female at National Zoo in 2010 (at Taronga since 2012).

    *Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) – two at Adelaide

    The current Giant Pandas in Australia are a male and female (Wang Wang and Funi) imported in November 2009 on a ten-year loan from China. Both were born in captivity at Wolong.
    The only other Giant Pandas ever exhibited in the country were a pair called Xiao Xiao and Fei Fei in 1988, which were on an Australasian “tour”, staying at three zoos (Melbourne, Taronga and Auckland) for a few months each before returning to China.


    *Dingo (Canis lupus dingo) – very widespread in zoos and other wildlife collections

    Introduced to Australia several thousand years ago, probably as a domestic with traders from southeast Asia.

    *African Hunting Dog (Lycaon pictus) – Altina; Melbourne; Monarto; National Zoo; Perth; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; Wildlife HQ

    There are about 70 Hunting Dogs in Australian zoos. The species breeds rapidly, they have fairly short lifespans, and packs can only contain one breeding pair. Hence animals tend to be moved between zoos frequently, and stock at any given zoo can change at any time. Several zoos hold only single-sex groups. I think all Hunting Dogs currently in Australia were bred in this country.

    *Maned Wolf (Chrysocyon brachyurus) – Adelaide; Altina; Crocodylus; Hunter Valley; National; Shoalhaven

    Formerly breeding at Perth, Melbourne and Western Plains Zoo until the ZAA lost interest. The original founders were nine animals imported between 1982 and 1998 from the USA, UK, Germany and Brazil. Between 2009 and 2011 all remaining individuals in the country (all related and all born at WPZ) were gathered at Altina, which has also imported a female from Riga Zoo (Latvia) in 2009, a male from Nordens Ark (Sweden) in 2013, and a female from Pueblo Zoo (USA) in 2015. The animals now at the other listed zoos came from Altina: in 2012 (1.2 to Hunter Valley), 2014 (2.0 to Crocodylus), 2015 (2.0 to National), 2016 (1.0 to Adelaide, and 2.0 to Shoalhaven), and 2017 (0.1 to Adelaide).

    *Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) – Caversham; Cooberrie; Jirrhalinga Koala And Wildlife Sanctuary. Probably kept at other small collections as well.

    Introduced in the mid-1800s and now found throughout mainland Australia.

    *Fennec Fox (Vulpes zerda) – Adelaide; Billabong; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Mogo; Monarto; Perth; Taronga

    Has been kept and bred in Australian zoos throughout the 1900s, but by the early 2000s reduced to just six animals. In 2011 there was an import of new stock to Adelaide (1.2 from Los Angeles Zoo, USA) and Taronga (1.0 from Augsburg Zoo, Germany, and 0.1 from Krakow Zoo, Poland).


    *Spotted Hyaena (Crocuta crocuta) – Altina; Monarto; National Zoo; Perth

    Formerly kept in several Australasian zoos. With regards to the current animals, all stem from five (4.1) imported by Monarto from Singapore Zoo in 2007. Altina, National Zoo and Perth currently only hold males bred at Monarto.
    A former group was at Perth, with 1.2 imported from Berkeley (USA) in c.1991. One female later went to Whyalla Zoo, and then to Monarto in 2004; the remaining pair at Perth bred several times (all offspring went to Singapore Zoo) and the male was later castrated; all 3 are now dead.


    *Ferret (Mustela putorius furo) – Halls Gap; Mansfield. Probably kept at other small collections as well.

    First brought to Australia in the 1880s for rabbit control but, unlike in NZ, ferrets do not have wild populations in Australia. They are common as pets but are banned in Queensland and the Northern Territory.

    *Small-clawed Otter (Aonyx cinerea) – Adelaide; Australia Zoo; Gorge; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Rockhampton; Taronga; Tasmania Zoo; Western Plains Zoo;

    There are about 35 otters in Australia. Most of the older stock has been retired to the smaller zoos while the major zoos (Melbourne, WPZ, Taronga, Perth and Adelaide) have breeding stock largely composed of imports from Japan, Singapore, Europe and USA in 2009, 2010 and 2011.


    *Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) – Adelaide; Altina; Australia Zoo; Billabong; Crocodylus; Darling Downs; Gorge; Halls Gap; Hunter Valley; Melbourne; Mogo; Monarto; National Zoo; Perth; Royal Melbourne Childrens Hospital; Shoalhaven; Symbio; Taronga; Tasmania Zoo; Werribee; Western Plains Zoo; Wildlife HQ; Wings Wildlife Park; Zoodoo

    Kept continuously since the mid-1970s and 1980s at all the major zoos - Adelaide, Melbourne, Taronga and Perth. The first import in this time frame was by Melbourne from Namibia in 1974. There were many many later imports by various zoos and they are widely bred. There are now almost 200 Meerkats in Australian zoos. At least Adelaide had them for periods prior to this also (with imports in 1906 and 1924).


    *Binturong (Arctictis binturong) – Australia Zoo; Melbourne; Mogo; Perth; Taronga; Wildlife HQ

    There are around ten animals in the country currently. For the current stock, all the initial animals were imported from Singapore Zoo: Melbourne in 2003 (1.1), Taronga in 2005 (1.1), Adelaide in 2005 (1.0), and Perth in Nov 2016 (1.1). There also appear to have been earlier imports in 1998 (one animal) and 1993 (8 animals) but I don't think any of the living animals are derived from those imports. Australia Zoo, Mogo, and Wildlife HQ hold animals bred at Melbourne and Taronga. The Perth pair are currently the only breeding pair in the country (the only other female is an old one at Australia Zoo).


    *Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens fulgens) – Adelaide; Altina; Australia Zoo; Billabong; Currumbin; Halls Gap; Melbourne; Mogo; National Zoo; Perth; Symbio; Taronga; Tasmania Zoo; Wildlife HQ

    The first in the country were a pair imported by Adelaide in 1975 from Zoo Neuwied (Germany). There have been 17 other animals imported since then, from Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, France, South Africa, USA, Canada, Japan and NZ. Over 130 have been born in Australia (including DNS) during that time. Almost all the Red Pandas currently in Australia were born in Australia.
    Six individuals of Chinese Red Pandas (Ailurus fulgens styani) were also kept in Australia for a short period in the 1980-90s.


    *Brown-nosed (Common) Coati (Nasua nasua) – Adelaide; Altina; Gorge; Melbourne; Perth

    Melbourne imported 1.4 animals in May 2011 from Leipzig Zoo (Germany) in exchange for three pairs of Eastern Quolls (Dasyurus viverrinus). All four females bred before the end of the first year and offspring have been distributed to other zoos. There have been no further imports.


    *Pacific Harbour Seal (Phoca vitulina richardii) – one male at Sea World Gold Coast

    Difficult to find any information but there appear to have been eight to ten Harbour Seals imported between 1971 and 1990, presumably all from the USA. Melbourne Zoo had Harbour Seals in or before the 1980s, and Taronga Zoo also had them in the 1980s. Sea World's animals (previously they held several) seem to have been partly from those zoos and partly their own imports - but, again, there is little information available.

    *Californian Sealion (Zalophus californianus) – Sea World; Taronga

    Taronga has six captive-bred males: one came from Wilhelma Zoo (Germany) in 2000, one from Sea World Gold Coast in 2008, one from Cologne Zoo (Germany) in 2009, one from Emmen Zoo (Netherlands) in 2009, and two from Rotterdam Zoo (Netherlands) in 2015. There are ten at Sea World, some of which have been born there and the rest imported, presumably from the USA, but I can't find any information other than one came from Napier Marineland (NZ) in 2014.


    *European Rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus)

    Both found wild in Australia since the early-to-mid-1800s; domestic rabbits are in many collections.

    *Black Rat (Rattus rattus), Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) and House Mouse (Mus musculus/domesticus)

    All found wild in Australia; domestic varieties found in some collections.

    *Northern Palm Squirrel (Funambulus pennantii) – ZooDoo

    Formerly well-established in the wild in Perth, originating from animals deliberately released at the Perth Zoo in 1898, but now almost eradicated. A smaller population in Sydney, originating from deliberate releases at Taronga in 1942 (from Perth stock), was later eradicated with the last wild records being in 1976. Current zoo stock and privately-kept animals derive from the wild animals around Perth.

    *South African Crested Porcupine (Hystrix africaeaustralis) – Monarto; Perth

    Monarto imported one pair of two-year-old animals in April 2017 from the Tanganyika Wildlife Park (USA). These bred for the first time later that year, with one baby. Perth imported one female around July 2017 from the Northumberland Country Zoo (aka Eshottheugh Animal Park) in the UK.

    *Guinea Pig (Cavia porcellus) – common in childrens zoos

    *Mara (Dolichotis patagonum) – Adelaide; Darling Downs; Gorge; Monarto?

    Formerly kept in many Australasian zoos, with the last of the old stock (originating at Taronga c.1940s) dying in 2012 at Western Plains Zoo. The current zoo stock comes from two pairs imported by Melbourne from Whipsnade (UK) in late 2012. These were transferred to Adelaide in Oct 2013, and started breeding in early 2014. There have been no further imports.

    *Capybara (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris) – Adelaide; Altina; Currumbin; Darling Downs; Gorge; Hunter Valley; Tasmania Zoo; Wildlife HQ

    Formerly kept in many Australasian zoos, with the last of the old stock (originating at Taronga in the 1930s) dying in c.2005 at Adelaide. The current zoo stock comes from a trio (1.2) imported by Adelaide from Los Angeles Zoo (USA) in Nov 2013. The first young were born in April 2014. There have been no further imports.

    *Brazilian Agouti (Dasyprocta leporina) – Darling Downs; National Zoo

    Until 2016 the entire Australasian population was descended from four animals imported by Auckland Zoo (NZ) in 1949. In 2016 DDZ imported four unrelated individuals from the USA, and these have since bred. (Four unrelated animals from Hungary were also imported to NZ by Wellington Zoo in 2016). Before the four new ones were imported by DDZ there were only six agouti left in Australia. The ones now at National are the remainder of that old stock (coming there from Taronga in 2016).


    *Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus goodfellowi) – Adelaide; Ballarat Wildlife Park; Currumbin; Healesville; Melbourne; National Zoo; Perth; Taronga

    First kept in Australia at Taronga in 1967. All the early stock in the country (in the 60s and 70s) was imported from New Guinea but more recently (in the late 1990s and through the 2000s) there have been imports of unrelated animals from zoos in the USA, Ireland, France, Japan and Singapore. Currently there about 20 animals in Australian zoos.


    *Barton's Long-beaked Echidna (Zaglossus bartoni) – one male at Taronga

    Three animals (1.2) were imported from London Zoo (UK) in 1994. One of the females died some time in the late 1990s. The surviving two were a female which had been at London since 1965 (wild-caught in 1963, and originally kept at Taronga) and a male which had come to London from Dallas Zoo (USA) in 1986 (wild-caught c.1971). The female died at Taronga in July 2015, aged at least 53.
    Last edited: 12 Jan 2018
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    ("New" meaning not already present in the country at the time of importation, although they may have been kept previously)

    *Indian Rhino Rhinoceros unicornis - Taronga/TWPZ, 2001
    *Francois' Langur Trachypithecus francoisi - Taronga, 2004
    *Dhole Cuon alpinus - Taronga, 2006 (but gone again by 2015)
    *Giant Panda Ailuropoda melanoleuca - Adelaide, 2009
    *Brown-nosed Coati Nasua nasua - Melbourne, 2011
    *Mara Dolichotis patagonum - Melbourne, 2012 (the last of the previous stock died c.2012 so there may have been overlap)
    *Capybara Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris - Adelaide, 2013
    *Nyala Tragelaphus angasii - Werribee, 2016
    *South African Crested Porcupine Hystrix africaeaustralis - Monarto, 2017
    *Caracal Caracal caracal - Wild Animal Encounters, 2017



    The following is an annotated list of exotic mammal species lost to Australian zoos since the year 2000.

    For more discussions on these species, please see this thread where a lot of the information was gathered: Australian zoo mammal histories


    *African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)
    The first African Elephant in an Australian zoo [so not including circus elephants] was the short-lived male Dumbo at Taronga Zoo in 1947 (surviving only six months), followed by females Chori (Taronga 1947-1979) and Cheena (Taronga 1948-c.1970). The only others in Australian zoos have been at Western Plains Zoo. Four animals were imported in December 1977 from Longleat (UK) for the opening of WPZ - male David, died 1987; and females Cheri, died 2007; Yum Yum, died 2010; and Cuddles, died 2017. Others kept at WPZ in the same time-frame were female Toto (imported from the USA in 1982, died 1984) and male Congo (from the USA in 1983, died 2000). There were unsuccessful attempts to breed Congo to the females.


    *Grevy's Zebra (Equus grevyi)
    Imported to the Pearl Coast Zoo from the UK in 1988, from Marwell Zoo (two males) and Midway Manor (four females). After the zoo's closure in 1991 they went to Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary, and then when that zoo closed in 2004 they (if they still survived then) were probably sold to the Mary River Station. There are no longer any in the country.


    *White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)
    Presumably from New Zealand stock. The last one in the country was a female at Werribee which died in 2007.

    *Gemsbok (Oryx gazella)
    Imported to the Pearl Coast Zoo from Marwell Zoo (UK) in 1987 (1.2 animals) and 1988 (0.2 animals). After the zoo's closure in 1991 they went to Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary, and then when that zoo closed in 2004 they were sold to the Mary River Station. There are no longer any in the country.

    *Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii)
    The formerly-large Australasian zoo population of Sitatunga was descended from one pair of animals imported from the USA by Taronga Zoo in the 1950s. Unconnected to the wider population, the Pearl Coast Zoo imported 2.3 from Marwell Zoo (UK) in 1988 but none of these went to other zoos (after the closure of the Pearl Coast Zoo they ended up at to Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary and no longer survive). The last Sitatunga in Australia died at Western Plains Zoo in July 2017, aged 27.

    *Sable Antelope (Hippotragus niger)
    The last one in the country was a female at Werribee which died in 2012 (she had been there alone since at least 2006).

    *Greater Kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros)
    A trio (1.2) was imported by Werribee from Honolulu Zoo (USA) in 1996. The last male in the country was castrated and he died in 2008, at which time there were still seven females. The last female at Werribee appears to have died in 2016. In 1987/88 a trio (2.1) had also been imported from the UK to the Pearl Coast Zoo but these went to the Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary after the zoo's closure, and then to the Mary River Station (and have since died out there).

    *Red Lechwe (Kobus leche leche)
    Last held at the Mary River Station, descended from animals sourced from the Pearl Coast Zoo (1.3 imported from the UK in 1988, and 1.0 from the USA via NZ in 1991). There were a few individuals there until quite recently but I have been informed that they are now all dead. I have also read these were Kafue Lechwe (Kobus leche kafuensis).

    *Chamois (Rupicapra rupicapra)
    From New Zealand stock, originally brought in by Taronga Zoo. The last one died at Monarto Zoo in the early 2000s.


    *Bengal Slow Loris (Nycticebus bengalensis)
    *Sunda Slow Loris (Nycticebus coucang)

    During the 1970s and 80s many zoos kept lorises of various species (Nycticebus coucang, N. bengalensis, N. pygmaeus and Loris tardigradus - although at the time only two species of lorises were scientifically recognised, the Slow Loris N. coucang and the Slender Loris L. tardigradus). Most of the animals were specifically imported by the zoos but some were the results of confiscations of smuggled animals. The last lorises in Australia were a Bengal Slow Loris at Melbourne Zoo and two Sunda Slow Lorises at Melbourne Zoo and Perth Zoo. The Melbourne Zoo's Sunda Slow Loris died in 2014 and the other two animals died in 2015.

    *Black (Golden-rumped) Lion Tamarin (Leontopithecus chrysopygus)
    Adelaide Zoo had one pair which bred at least once. There were two males and one female up until 2009 or 2010. I don't know if all three died or if they were exported.

    *Red-handed Tamarin (Saguinus midas)
    Originally one pair imported to Perth Zoo from Skansen Zoo (Sweden) in 1984. The last two of Perth's animals were sent to Mogo Zoo, the last one dying in the early 2000s.

    *Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus)
    Alma Park Zoo had a group of ten ex-lab animals near the start of the 2000s. There were still eight in 2008, but all seem to have died by 2011.

    *Ebony (Javan) Langur (Trachypithecus auratus)
    Melbourne Zoo had a pair in the early-2000s, the male of which died in 2008 and the female in 2010.

    *Purple-faced Langur (Trachypithecus vetulus vetulus)
    A large group at Perth Zoo declined to just one old female and a younger male by the mid-2000s. These last two animals were sent to Edinburgh Zoo (UK) in about 2005 or 2006.

    *Stump-tailed Macaque (Macaca arctoides)
    Gone from zoos by the 2000s but in the Australian Zoo Mammal Histories thread tetrapod mentions seeing the last pair in 2001, which were kept by a private keeper outside Sydney (where several surplus primates from zoos were held).

    *Tonkean Macaque (Macaca tonkeana)
    Perth Zoo had one pair which bred once (a male). By around 2005 just the two males were left, and these were rehomed around 2010 (probably to Mareeba).

    *Muller's (Bornean) Gibbon (Hylobates muelleri)
    The last one in the country was the female Mary who came to Taronga Zoo from Borneo in 1960 and died in Feb 2015. Her previous mate had died in 1986 and she rejected attempts to pair her with other males. Until 2008 there was also a lone female at Mogo Zoo and until 2010 a lone female at the Cairns Wildlife Safari.


    *Asian Lion (Panthera leo persica)
    A pure male was kept at Taronga Zoo in the 1970s. In c.1991 a hybrid pair (Asian X African) was imported to Western Plains Zoo via Taronga Zoo from the USA, and these survived until at least 2003. The intention was to later import pure Asian Lions but this never eventuated.

    *Tigon (Panthera tigris X Panthera leo)
    A sibling pair bred at the Ashton's Circus in 1987, which were sent to Canberra's National Zoo in Dec 2000. The female died in 2006 and the male in June 2008.

    *Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica / saxicolor)
    Originally being bred at Adelaide Zoo. Their animals were an existing female (I don't know her origin), and a sibling pair (1.1) bred at Cincinnati Zoo (USA) in 1980. By 2001 there were only six animals left in the country - three at Perth Zoo (1.2) and three at Adelaide Zoo (1.2). The three at Perth Zoo were a father and his two daughters, all of which were sent to Crocodylus Park, in 2001 (the females) and 2002 (the male). The last three in the country were a female at Crocodylus Park (died 2008), the male at Adelaide Zoo (died April 2010), and a female at Melbourne Zoo (one of the Adelaide Zoo's females; died July 2013)

    *generic Leopard (Panthera pardus)
    The last of the many Leopards which used to be in Australian zoos was a black panther at Gorge Wildlife Park which died in June 2017. He was bred at Gorge in 1994, the parents being ex-Melbourne Zoo.

    *Jaguar (Panthera onca)
    The last five in the country all died in late 2000s from old age. A female at Darling Downs Zoo which came from Monbulk Animal Kingdom, but was originally bred at Adelaide Zoo in the late 1970s, died in 2008. The pair at Melbourne Zoo both died in 2008. Of the sibling pair at Mogo Zoo, which had came from Notre Dame Zoo (Mulgoa) when it was closed down in 1991, the female died in 2007 and the male in either 2009 or 2010.

    *Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
    One pair was imported to Taronga Zoo from the USA in 1993. They never bred and the male died at Taronga Zoo in 2005, and the female died at Melbourne Zoo in 2008.

    *Asiatic Golden Cat (Catopuma temminckii)
    Kept and bred continuously at Melbourne Zoo since 1968 when the first five animals were imported from Europe and the USA. Was also kept at Taronga Zoo and Adelaide Zoo. Most of the surviving animals post-2000 were exported to New Zealand zoos. The last one in Australia was a female which died at Melbourne Zoo in 2009.

    *Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
    The last one died at Melbourne Zoo in 2008. Also used to be at Taronga Zoo until at least the 1990s and at the Notre Dame Zoo (Mulgoa) which was closed down in 1991.

    *Syrian Brown Bear (Ursus arctos syriacus)
    The last individual was a female at Melbourne Zoo, born in Bern (Switzerland) in 1987, who died on 9 November 2016. She was the last of many Syrian Brown Bears formerly kept in the country (including at Perth Zoo, Adelaide Zoo, Mogo Zoo, and Cairns Wildlife Safari).

    *Kodiak Bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi)
    Three siblings were imported to Adelaide Zoo from the Colorado Springs Zoo (USA) in 1978, and then moved on to Taronga Zoo in 1985. Male Barney died in c.July 2005 aged 28, female Cynthia died March 2008 aged 31, and female Bethyl died Oct 2012 aged 35.

    *Dhole (Cuon alpinus)
    One captive-bred pair was imported to Taronga Zoo in Feb 2006 from Cambodia. One female pup was born in August 2006 and one male pup in July 2007. The father and daughter went to Singapore Night Safari in 2009, and he has since bred with an unrelated female there (in 2011). Both animals remaining at Taronga Zoo (the mother and son) died around Feb 2015.
    The previous population of Dholes at Taronga Zoo, which had died out just a few years before the above animals were imported, were the result of one pair which was imported from China in 1983 and one further animal imported from Canada in 1984.

    *European badger (Meles meles)
    Bred at Melbourne Zoo for many decades. Formerly also kept at Taronga Zoo. The last one in the country was a female which died at Melbourne Zoo in 2009.

    *Dwarf Mongoose (Helogale parvula)
    The breeding population at Adelaide Zoo declined rapidly from around 15 animals at the start of the 2000s until the final one died in August 2013. The species had been kept at Adelaide Zoo since at least the start of the 1980s.

    *White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica)
    Formerly kept in a number of zoos. The last one was a male which died at Melbourne Zoo in c.2009/2010. The animals currently in the country are Brown-nosed Coati (Nasua nasua).


    *Greater Tree Shrew (Tupaia glis)
    The last in the country were individuals at Melbourne Zoo, Adelaide Zoo, and Gorge Wildlife Park, which all died in 2016. All the final animals had originally been bred at Adelaide Zoo. The species had been in the country since at least the 1980s, perhaps originally at Melbourne Zoo.


    *American Beaver (Castor canadensis)
    The last ones in Australia were at Adelaide Zoo, which imported them in the 1980s. I'm not sure if they ever bred. There were two pairs at the start of the 2000s, from which they dwindled until the last one (a male) died in July 2010. They had also been kept at Melbourne Zoo a couple of decades prior to Adelaide Zoo's import.

    *Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica)
    The last ones in the country were a pair at Melbourne Zoo and a female at Taronga Zoo (which had come from Melbourne Zoo in 2005). Also formerly kept at Adelaide Zoo and Perth Zoo into at least the 1980s. Of the final three animals in Australia, the Melbourne male and the Taronga female both died in 2008, and the Melbourne female in 2009.


    *Hoffman's Two-toed Sloth (Choloepus hoffmanni)
    Adelaide Zoo imported a pair (wild-caught in Panama) from Lincoln Park Zoo (USA) in Nov 1972. A female baby was born in Feb 1974, and another female baby in March 1975. The male died in Sept 1974 (before the birth of the second baby), and the original female died in Jan 1976. A new male was imported from Lincoln Park Zoo in the early 1990s. The younger female died some time after, leaving one pair at the zoo for the next twenty-odd years until the male died in Jan 2015. The last female (the first-born young) died in June 2017.


    *Matschie's Tree Kangaroo (Dendrolagus matschiei)
    This species had been maintained and bred in quite large numbers at several Australian zoos since before the 1960s. Most of them probably originated with imports from Papua New Guinea by Edward Hallstrom of Taronga Zoo. Even into the mid-to-late 1990s there were still a lot in several zoos (c.20 animals). Adelaide Zoo had kept them since at least 1959 and bred close to twenty young since the 1970s. The last three animals in the country were all at Adelaide; the male died in 2008, one of the females (aged 24 years) in 2015, and the last female (aged 21 years) in April 2017.

    *Grey Dorcopsis Wallaby (Dorcopsis luctuosa)
    Imported from Papua New Guinea by the Australian Reptile Park in the late 1960s. Animals were distributed to Currumbin Sanctuary, Healesville Sanctuary, Adelaide Zoo, Melbourne Zoo, Taronga Zoo, and Perth Zoo. The population survived in most of these zoos until at least the late 1990s. I think they may have still been at Currumbin, at least, until the early 2000s.


    POST-1980 / PRE-2000

    This is a list of species known to have been in Australian zoos during this period. Information is scant and the list should not be considered comprehensive, with regards to either the species or the zoos which held them!

    A lot of the discussion for these species is in the thread here - Australian zoo mammal histories - but I also have made mention of import/export records which I've found through CITES data.


    *Aardvark (Orycteropus afer) - one pair was imported to Melbourne Zoo from Canada in 1976. The female died in 1981 and the male perhaps in the late 1980s.


    *Cape Rock Hyrax (Procavia capensis)
    - Perth Zoo imported two pairs from South Africa via the UK in 1989. Two young were produced, but three of the adults died for various reasons and the remaining three animals were euthanased in 1991 due to disease concerns.


    *Pere David's Deer (Elaphurus davidianus) - two pairs were sent to Taronga Zoo by the Duke of Bedford in 1949 and they bred well - by 1956 there were fourteen at the zoo. The deer were sent out to Western Plains Zoo after it opened in 1977. They seem to have all died out during the 1980s.

    *Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak) - at Melbourne Zoo (breeding) in the early 1980s.

    *Addra Gazelle (Nanger dama) - five were imported to Orana Park (NZ) in 1991 and two of these were sent on to the Pearl Coast Zoo in 1991 (which closed that same year and the hooved-stock went to Tipperary Wildlife Sanctuary which in turn closed in 2004, by which time the Addra were most likely already dead).

    *Lowland Anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) - at Taronga Zoo in the 1980s.


    *Mongoose Lemur (Eulemur mongoz) - two were imported to Adelaide Zoo in 1983.

    *Northern Red-fronted Lemur (Eulemur rufus) - at Taronga Zoo into at least the 1980s, with four having been imported from Canada in 1979. I found a CITES record(s) for three or four being exported from Australia to Sri Lanka in 1991 or 1992 - if not an error in their data then these must have been the last of the zoo's animals. In the 1980s this species was treated as a subspecies of Brown Lemur (Eulemur fulvus).

    *Senegal Bushbaby (Galago senegalensis) - at Adelaide Zoo until the mid-1980s.

    *Thick-tailed Bushbaby (Otolemur crassicaudatus) - at Perth Zoo in the 1980s.

    *Slender Loris (Loris sp.) - four were imported to Adelaide Zoo in 1983 from Sri Lanka. In the 1980s only one species of Slender Loris was recognised, Loris tardigradus (since split into two species).

    *Andean Saddleback Tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis) - CITES records have one imported to Australia from the USA in 1980. I found a record of a undated specimen in the Australian Museum which was obtained from Taronga Zoo.

    *Red-bellied Tamarin (Saguinus labiatus) - CITES records have four imported to Australia from the USA in 1980.

    *Moustached Tamarin (Saguinus mystax) - CITES records have four imported to Australia from the USA in 1980.

    *Hanuman Langur (Semnopithecus sp.) - at Melbourne Zoo, Adelaide Zoo, Western Plains Zoo, and Natureland Zoo (Queensland), all in the early to mid 1980s. At this time only one species of Grey Langur was recognised, the Hanuman Langur S. entellus (now split into about seven species).

    *Silvered Langur (Trachypithecus cristatus) - ?

    *Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus patas) - four were imported to Taronga Zoo from the USA in 1981. In or just before 1990 all were sent to Western Plains Zoo, and then to the Noumea Zoo (New Caledonia) in the late 1990s.

    *Talapoin (Miopithecus sp.) - at Perth Zoo, with two males imported from Wellington Zoo (NZ) in 1985. No females were obtained and the males died at Perth in the early/mid-1990s. However there is also a CITES record for two further animals imported from Switzerland in 1985, but I don't know where these went if it is accurate. In the 1980s only one species of Talapoin was recognised, Miopithecus talapoin (now split into two species).

    *Spot-nosed Guenon (Cercopithecus petaurista) - Melbourne Zoo imported two females from the USA in 1982. I'm not sure if there were any others in the country before that, and no more were imported after.

    *Black Mangabey (Lophocebus aterrimus) - there was a pair at Adelaide Zoo, which died in 1982.

    *Gelada (Theropithecus gelada) - at Melbourne Zoo in the 1980s. One animal was imported from the UK in 1982 but I don't know about the others. Two births were recorded in 1983 so they had at least a small breeding group. CITES records show three animals were exported to Switzerland in 1986 and two to the USA in 1989, these probably being the last of the species in Australia. The 1989 export was likely to have been to the Bronx Zoo, which opened their Baboon Reserve exhibit for Geladas in 1990.

    *Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus) - at Melbourne Zoo and Bullens Animal World (at Wallacia) into the 1980s. Probably other zoos as well.

    *Olive Baboon (Papio anubis) - at Melbourne Zoo and Bullens Animal World (at Wallacia) into the 1980s. Probably other zoos as well.

    *Hoolock Gibbon (Hoolock sp.) - Perth Zoo had a pair, which were sent to the International Gibbon Centre (USA) in the late 1980s. There is also a CITES record of an export to USA of one animal in 1993. In the 1980s only one species of Hoolock Gibbon was recognised, H. hoolock (now split into three species).

    *Agile Gibbon (Hylobates agilis) - Perth Zoo.

    *Pileated Gibbon (Hylobates pileatus) - Perth Zoo? They were in Australia in the 1980s at least. There are CITES records for a few exports of individuals during this time.


    *Jungle Cat (Felis chaus) - at Melbourne Zoo, still into the 1980s?

    *Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis) - at Melbourne Zoo, at least into the 1990s.

    *Jaguarundi (Puma yagouaroundi) - at Taronga Zoo and Melbourne Zoo into the mid-1980s at least.

    *Pallas' Cat (Otocolobus manul) - at Adelaide Zoo in the 1980s. One was already there in 1984 but I don't from where or when. Another arrived in 1986 from Chicago's Brookfield Zoo (USA) in exchange for an Adelaide-bred Polar Bear. They may have bred (at least one young) because according to CITES records three Pallas' Cats were exported together to the USA in 1989.

    *American Black Bear (Ursus americanus) - at Taronga Zoo into at least the mid-1980s. There is a CITES record of two being exported from Australia to Malaysia in 1992.

    *New Guinea Singing Dog (Canis familiaris hallstromi) - at Taronga Zoo into the late-1980s. The first animals brought out of New Guinea were a pair to Taronga Zoo in 1957. Almost all the individuals in the USA are descendents of this pair. Taronga still kept the dogs up until at least 1987 when several animals were exported to Canada.

    *Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus hudsonicus) - at Adelaide Zoo.The final members of the pack were exported to Wellington Zoo (NZ) in 1987 and 1992.

    *Coyote (Canis latrans) - Melbourne Zoo, at least, still kept these in the early 1980s.

    *Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas) - at Melbourne Zoo, Taronga Zoo, and Adelaide Zoo in the early 1980s. Taronga Zoo imported jackals directly from Africa in the 1940s which may have been the origin of at least some of these later animals. In the 1980s Taronga Zoo was keeping them in an ill-conceived mixed-exhibit with Chimpanzees.

    *Raccoon Dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) - at Taronga Zoo in the mid-1980s.

    *Striped Hyaena (Hyaena hyaena) - one pair at Perth Zoo, sent to Singapore Zoo in the mid/late-1980s.

    *Smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) - at Melbourne Zoo at least, in the 1980s. There are CITES import records to Australia for one animal from the Netherlands in 1984, two from Indonesia in 1985, and one from Malaysia in 1986.

    *Chinese Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens styani) - at Melbourne Zoo, Taronga Zoo, and perhaps some others. Six animals were imported to Australia in the 1980s but none bred successfully. At the end of the 1980s the zoos switched to the currently-held subspecies A. f. fulgens.

    *Tayra (Eira barbara) - at Adelaide Zoo in the mid-1980s.


    *Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) - at Melbourne Zoo until late 1980s. Probably the stock originated at Taronga Zoo which was breeding them from at least the 1930s.

    *Prevost's Squirrel (Callosciurus prevostii) - at Taronga Zoo in the early-1980s.

    *Springhaas (Pedetes capensis) - at Adelaide Zoo in the mid-1980s.


    *Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) - at Taronga Zoo and Melbourne Zoo until at least the late 1970s. Adelaide Zoo had several through the 1980s: in 1987 they had 1.2 (one being a female from Melbourne Zoo), in 1988 they had 0.2, in 1989 a new male was imported from San Diego (USA) to make 1.2 again, in 1989 it seems both females died, and the male died in Sept 1990.

    *Hairy Armadillo (Chaetophractus sp.) - at Melbourne Zoo until at least late 1970s, possibly early 1980s. Perth Zoo still had one up until the mid-1990s.


    *Ground Cuscus (Phalanger gymnotis) - imported from Papua New Guinea to the Australian Reptile Park in 1969 and initially bred there. There subsequently appears to have been a reasonably large number in several zoos. Individuals or groups were present at Healesville Sanctuary until at least 1985, at Adelaide Zoo until at least 1990, at the Australian Reptile Park until at least 1995, and at Taronga Zoo until at least 1997.

    *Spotted Cuscus (Spilocuscus maculatus) - imported multiple times from Papua New Guinea from the 1950s through to the mid-1980s, to (at least) Healesville Sanctuary, Australian Reptile Park, and Taronga Zoo. They were still present at Taronga Zoo until the late-1980s and at Perth Zoo until the mid or late-1990s.
    Last edited: 13 Nov 2017
  4. Geoffrey

    Geoffrey Well-Known Member

    6 Oct 2007
    Canberra, ACT
    I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this list for some time, and it does not disappoint. Fantastic work! (And a lot of work it must have been too ...) Really interesting to see the primates in research facilities (I wonder if any will make their way to zoos down the track?), and also the very poor state of the majority of populations in the list.

    A minor point: Nowra Wildlife Park and its new name of Shoalhaven Zoo are listed separately in most of the places where they occur. Also Mogo now has squirrel monkeys (and thus by my count has all but two of the zoo-kept South American primates on display).

    I think the idea of recording recent departures from the Australian zoo scene like Bornean Gibbons and Dhole is a really good idea - especially as it means the information will be there ready when ZAA changes its mind again and re-imports them.
  5. Riley

    Riley Well-Known Member

    2 Nov 2014
    NSW, Australia
    Great work, lots of interesting stuff here. A zoo nerd paradise.

    I didn’t know that there were any Prezwalskis’ in private hands. Also didn’t realise that there had been no meerkats prior to the 70s.

    Six polar bears were imported yet only three remain, is that due to trouble adjusting to the climate or is there another underlying issue.

    It's astonishing how inbred so many of the species are.

    Didn’t Jessie the elephant actually originate from Billy Goat Swamp or are these classed as the same thing and I’m pretty sure that there are Sambar deer at Mansfield.
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    thanks for that. I did read on the Mogo thread about their new squirrel monkeys from Wellington earlier this month, but somehow completely forgot to add it. And having both Nowra and Shoalhaven on there is exactly the kind of mess-up I need people to point out - I think that must have come from adding Shoalhaven when I found out about the name change, but then obviously not deleting the old name. I'll fix both of those things.

    On the NZ forum I have a list of former zoo mammals (back to 1980) and I was thinking about doing the same for Australia but it would be a tonne of work and I'm not as familiar with past Australian collections as I am for NZ. So I'll try and do some of the recent disappearances (say, the last five or ten years) just to keep track of them. The recent ones will be better documented as well, which will mean I can actually find information.
  7. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    For the Sea World polar bears, two were exported to other zoos (to Beijing and Alaska) and one died from kidney failure.

    For meerkats, there were zoos keeping them prior to that (Adelaide way back at the start of the 1900s) but the 1980s were when they started becoming common.

    And yes, Mansfield does appear to have sambar so I will add that in there.

    For Jessie and Billy Goat Swamp, you are correct - originally the zoo was on the other side of the harbour at Billy Goat Swamp (now called Moore Park) and that is where Jessie started out. Taronga Zoo on its new site officially opened in 1916. I'll make a little note to this effect, although I think they can really be considered the same place.
  8. Jabiru96

    Jabiru96 Well-Known Member

    1 Feb 2010
    Do you know when Saigon the Perry Brothers circus elephant died?
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    sorry, I don't know anything about circus elephants.
  10. Astrobird

    Astrobird Well-Known Member

    15 Feb 2013
    Quote "Zebra - Altina (from Mogo)" a moot point, but I think Altina's zebra came from Werribee. This thread makes for a great read - :p
  11. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    yes you are correct. I'm not sure why I put Mogo.
  12. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

    10 Apr 2008
    sw england
    Original white rhino at Perth came from US - hence name of Memphis.
    Perth had Pygmy marmosets early 90s, first collection in country with species.
    Nat Zoo started keeping European brown bears in 2000.
    Last stock of coatis at Melbourne were white-nosed.

    Great work. Really puts in to perspective how healthy some species are and how dire other groups are.
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    thanks for that.

    Perth's initial White Rhinos were intended to be covered by "A number of additional NZ animals have been imported since 1990" but I can make an additional note in there because the Perth ones were really just passing through NZ - male Memphis came from Memphis Zoo and female Mwiri from the San Diego Wild Animal Park; they were imported to Orana in January 1990 and then on to Perth in May.

    I hadn't known when the first ones were imported, so thanks for that. I just knew there were several imports in the early 2000s.

    I had found a reference for 1998. Now I need to try and re-find it!

    I did wonder about that. The NZ ones were White-nosed Coatis (I found some photos to confirm that) and I thought they had probably come initially from Australia. However the ARAZPA censuses of the mid- to late-2000s had the remaining Australian ones at Melbourne listed as "Common Coati Nasua nasua".
  14. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

    10 Apr 2008
    sw england
    I didn't realise that the rhinos would have come via NZ, so I can see the confusion.
    The pygmies were part of the original inhabitants of the Lesser Primates which also included the white-fronted lemurs, talapoins, B+W colobus, purple-faced langurs, de brazzas, red-handed tamarins, green iguana and serval, in addition to the species still held. Crying shame how many species was lost from one zoo, let alone from the region.
    Brown bears definitely during year 2000. Enclosure was not built before then. Second exotic species after the tufted capuchins.
    Original coatis are definite white-nosed. Have a photo from early 80s. Suspect that environment agency didn't know any difference. Maybe at some stage white-nosed was classed as a subspecies of ring-tailed???
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    okay. I couldn't find the reference I had found earlier saying 1998, so I'll take it that it was a mistake (perhaps confusing the year the owners started the zoo with the arrival of the bears?)

    I shall remove the section of the coati post referring to the earlier animals.
  16. gerenuk

    gerenuk Well-Known Member

    4 Jul 2010
    When did Territory Wildlife Park stop holding dromedary, rusa deer, sambar deer, and banteng?
  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    I was going to say "maybe they still do" (the deer and camelid listings on this thread will not be complete), but having a look at the park's current map and website it looks like they only have native wildlife now (including dingo).

    So, in answer, I have no idea :D
  18. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

    1 Aug 2010
    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    In 2006, the only exotic mammals they had were water buffalo and wild boar (they held these til ~2008), so the others were lost before then presumably.
  19. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
  20. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007