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Former Mammals In New Zealand Zoos (1980 to present)

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Chlidonias, 3 Jul 2014.

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    the world of tomorrow
    This is a list of wild mammal species formerly found in New Zealand zoos (i.e. not including domestic species). I have used a cut-off date of 1980. It ties in with the list of currently held species (Current Mammals in New Zealand Zoos), but adding all these former species plus their data into the other list made it too long to be contained within one post – hence there being two lists. The listings here are not complete – probably not even nearly complete – because it is compiled from what I have personally seen over the years and what can be gleaned from various additional sources (e.g. old zoo maps and guidebooks, online import records, etc). It will therefore be an ongoing project, and needless to say there will probably be errors which need correcting.

    In addition I have attempted to include origin data for these species as I did in the other list (of currently held species), but I haven't been too particular about this – if I could find the data then I included it, but many species simply say when they last occurred in the country (either a specific year or a general ball-park figure).


    *African Elephant (Loxodonta africana)

    Only two African Elephants have ever been kept in New Zealand zoos. The first was a female named Koru, originally wild-caught as a calf in 1980 and imported to Auckland from Los Angeles Zoo (USA) in 1983. She died three months after arrival. The other African Elephant was a female named Jumbo (later renamed Mila) who had been present in the region as a touring circus elephant since 1978 (originally wild-caught as a calf in Namibia in 1973). From November 2011 she was housed at Franklin Zoo and in November 2013 was exported to the San Diego Zoo (USA). She died at San Diego in March 2017.


    *Brazilian Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)

    Formerly Hamilton held a pair, although they never bred there. The male had been born in 1990 at Western Plains Zoo (Australia) and was imported to Hamilton in 1991. The female was born in 1991 at Adelaide Zoo (Australia) and was imported to Hamilton in 1992. The male died in Sept 2016 and the female in June 2019.


    *Common Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)

    Only Auckland Zoo has kept this species in recent decades, although Wellington Zoo did so a long time ago (there is a 1932 specimen at Te Papa which came from Wellington Zoo). The first hippo at Auckland was a female named Bella who came from Melbourne Zoo (Australia) in 1923. A male named Chaka arrived in 1925 from the Calcutta Zoo (India) and several offspring were bred from this pair. The last three hippos at the zoo were female Snorkel (1959-2010), female Faith (1975-2016), and male Fudge (1988-2016). Snorkel was a descendant of the original line, being the daughter of male Dimazulu who was born in 1937 to that original hippo pair (Bella and Chaka); Snorkel's mother was Nada The Lily, imported from Taronga Zoo (Australia) in 1939. Faith was born at Auckland to a Taronga-bred female named Bonnie (imported in 1966), and sired by the wild-caught male Kabete who died in 1993. Fudge was the offspring of Faith and Kabete.


    *Arabian Camel (Dromedary) (Camelus dromedarius)

    Previously held in several New Zealand zoos, including the Hadlow Game Park (closed 1986), Willowbank (until mid-late 1990s), Auckland (last one died 1999), Hamilton (last one died c.2003), Orana (last one died October 2003) and Wellington (last one died October 2004). Most in the country were imported from Australia but some were bred locally.


    *Aoudad (Barbary Sheep) (Ammotragus lervia)

    The New Zealand stock originated from Taronga Zoo (Australia), probably established in NZ from a 1967 import by Auckland Zoo although there were also some later imports from Australia (two animals each in 1985 and 1987). They were formerly held in good numbers in New Zealand zoos, including Auckland, Hamilton and Wellington. I have a newspaper clipping from 1987 which mentions Barbary Sheep at Orana Park, although I don't remember ever seeing them there.They were also kept at the Hadlow Game Park (closed 1986). The last animals held in a New Zealand zoo were a pair at Wellington in 2006 (the female on loan from Kitenui Lodge in Taupo). The male died in 2007 and the female went back to Kitenui in 2008, where she died sometime after.

    *Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)

    The last two in New Zealand (both of them bulls) died of old age at Hamilton Zoo in early 2011. They were descended from a herd originally held at Orana Park (derived from a male imported from the UK in 1978 [an accompanying female died in quarantine] and two females obtained from Auckland Zoo in 1983). In the late 1980s all the Orana animals were sent to Lincoln University to investigate farming potential, and in the early 1990s they were transferred from there to Hamilton Zoo. Auckland Zoo also still had some Nilgai in the early 1990s although these either died out or were sent to Hamilton as well.

    *Gemsbok (Oryx gazella)

    Formerly at Auckland. By the early 1980s reduced to just a single animal, a female which produced two hybrid offspring with a male Scimitar-horned Oryx (in 1984 and 1985). In c.1995 the two hybrid animals (the pure female had since died) were sent to Hamilton where one of them survived until 2005.

    *Sable (Hippotragus niger)

    Formerly at Orana Park, descended from a trio (one male, two females) imported from Toronto Zoo (Canada) in 1990. There was little success in sustaining the population and the last animals in the country (two females) died in 2014. Surplus males from Orana were also held at Hamilton Zoo until 2004.

    *Sitatunga (Tragelaphus spekii)

    The entire (formerly large) Australasian zoo population of Sitatunga was descended from one pair of animals imported from the USA by Taronga Zoo (Australia) in the 1950s. Orana Park had Sitatunga in the 1980s through until c.1996. Auckland probably would have had them as well (but I don't know until when). The last animal at Wellington (a male) was sent to Hamilton in 2007 to join the four females remaining there. The last individual in Australasia was a female, born at Hamilton in September 2000, which died at Hamilton around October 2018.

    *Bongo (Tragelaphus eurycerus)

    One female was imported to Wellington Zoo from Singapore Zoo around October 2015, destined ultimately for Australia. She was on show at Wellington Zoo from April 2016 until being exported to Taronga Zoo (Australia) in May 2017 (Australian legislation requires that ungulates imported into Australia have been in New Zealand for at least one year before import). This is probably the only Bongo ever kept in a New Zealand zoo.

    *Addra Gazelle (Nanger dama)

    Five animals were imported from the USA by Orana Park in 1990; one pair was sent on to Australia (to the Pearl Coast Zoo) and three remained at Orana Park. They bred at the park but the group eventually petered out. The last one, a male housed off-display for many years, probably died of old age in 2011.


    *Collared Peccary (Pecari tajacu)

    The last three in New Zealand were put to sleep due to old age in 2011 at Wellington Zoo. They were the New Zealand remnants of a formerly large Australasian population derived entirely from one pair imported to Wellington Zoo from Canada in 1969. Other zoos in New Zealand to have kept them were Blenheim Zoo (closed 1985), Hamilton, Pouakai and Ti Point. The only Collared Peccaries left in Australasia are at Melbourne Zoo (all also descended from the original Wellington pair).


    *Mueller's (Bornean) Gibbon (Hylobates muelleri)

    The only one in New Zealand in the last few decades was a wild-caught male called Nippy, housed at the Wellington Zoo from December 1949 until September 2008. He was probably about sixty years old when he died.

    *Agile Gibbon (Hylobates agilis)

    Two pairs were apparently imported from Australia in 1984, but I don't know to which zoo. (CITES records data is available online but lacks facility names, only showing years and countries of imports/exports and numbers of individuals). Post #11 of this thread, by Kiwi1, says that Agile Gibbon were present at Wellington Zoo in the past.

    *Common Marmoset (Callithrix jacchus)

    There appear to have been two imports into New Zealand from Australia, of four animals in 1985 and four in 1987. (CITES records data is available online but lacks facility names, only showing years and countries of imports/exports and numbers of individuals). Post #11 of this thread, by Kiwi1, says that this species was kept at Auckland Zoo in the mid/late 1980s.

    *Saddleback Tamarin (Saguinus fuscicollis)

    Two animals were imported from the UK in 1981 along with a White-lipped Tamarin (Saguinus labiatus) and a Diana Monkey (Cercopithecus diana), probably all to Auckland Zoo. (CITES records data is available online but lacks facility names, only showing years and countries of imports/exports and numbers of individuals). Post #11 of this thread, by Kiwi1, notes this species (and also Weddell's Tamarin, which is a subspecies weddelli of the Saddleback Tamarin) as being kept at Auckland Zoo in the early 1980s.

    *White-lipped Tamarin (Saguinus labiatus)

    One animal was imported from the UK in 1981 along with two Saddleback Tamarins (Saguinus fuscicollis) and a Diana Monkey (Cercopithecus diana), probably to Auckland Zoo. (CITES records data is available online but lacks facility names, only showing years and countries of imports/exports and numbers of individuals). Post #11 of this thread, by Kiwi1, notes this species (under the common name Red-bellied Tamarin) as being kept at Auckland Zoo in the early 1980s.

    *Common Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri sciureus)

    Formerly kept at Auckland Zoo, from 1963 until 2000. Probably also kept elsewhere in that time frame. There were also several imports from Australia in the 1980s. The last two animals at Auckland were sent to Pouakai Zoo in May 2000 where they died some time later. The species currently kept in New Zealand zoos is the Bolivian Squirrel Monkey Saimiri boliviensis.

    *White-throated Capuchin (Cebus capucinus)

    Willowbank had a good-sized colony from the 1970s through until at least the late 1980s. (The species may have been White-fronted Capuchins Cebus albifrons). There is a CITES record of 14 individuals being exported from New Zealand to the Noumea Zoo (New Caledonia) in 2001 but I have no idea from which zoo and it is likely to be a mistaken record for Black-capped Capuchin (Cebus apella).

    *White-bellied Spider Monkey (Ateles belzebuth)

    Formerly held in a mixed-species group of Ateles at Wellington dating back to the 1960s, which also included Variegated (Brown) Spider Monkeys (A. hybridus), Geoffroy's Spider Monkeys (A. geoffroyi), and hybrid individuals. At the time A. hybridus was considered to be a subspecies of A. belzebuth. The last individual of A. belzebuth died in 2007. Wellington's current Geoffroy's Spider Monkey group was established in 2009 with animals from Auckland, Hamilton and Orana.

    *Diana Monkey (Cercopithecus diana)

    At Wellington Zoo until at least the late 1980s and Auckland Zoo until about the late 1990s. The breeding stock dates back to at least the 1960s although there were also later imports (e.g. one animal from the UK in 1981, probably to Auckland).

    *De Brazza's Monkey (Cercopithecus neglectus)

    The only ones I know of in New Zealand were a trio (one male, two females) at the North Brighton Zoo in Christchurch, imported from Taronga Zoo (Australia) in c.1988. One died before mid-1989. When the zoo closed in 1996 there were still two De Brazza's Monkeys there but I don't know where they went, probably to either Pouakai Zoo or Franklin Zoo.

    *Vervet Monkey (Chlorocebus sp.)

    The last individual in New Zealand died of old age at Pouakai Zoo in 2012. Their original five animals were imported from Perth Zoo (Australia) in 1994. There were also Vervets at the Hadlow Game Park (closed 1986) and at Franklin Zoo in the 1990s (these latter were probably the ones from Hadlow Game Park). At the time all Chlorocebus species were lumped as C aethiops (now split into several species).

    *Patas Monkey (Erythrocebus patas)

    Orana Park had a good breeding colony of this species for many years up until 1997 when the last two were sent to the Noumea Zoo (New Caledonia). The group was started with two pairs imported in 1981 from San Francisco Zoo (USA) in exchange for a trio of Red-necked Wallabies (Macropus rufogriseus). The only one I ever saw elsewhere in New Zealand was at the Spencerville Wildlife Reserve (outside Christchurch), which was a surplus male from Orana's group.

    *Talapoin (Miopithecus sp.)

    Willowbank had a single male individual from the late 1970s to early 1980s which was born at Wellington Zoo. The species was gone from Wellington by the first years of the 1980s but was still numbered on the map of the 1980s guidebook. Two animals were exported from New Zealand to Perth Zoo (Australia) in 1985, and these were probably Wellington's last animals. At this time only one species of Talapoin was recognised, M. talapoin (now split into two species).

    *Crab-eating (Long-tailed) Macaque (Macaca fascicularis)

    Formerly common in New Zealand zoos, with the stock dating back to at least the 1950s. The last ones I saw were at the North Brighton Zoo which closed in 1996 (these would have then gone to either Franklin or Pouakai Zoo).

    *Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)

    Formerly common in New Zealand zoos, with the stock dating back to at least the 1950s. The last ones I saw were at the North Brighton Zoo which closed in 1996 – these apparently went to the Moana Zoo which closed in 2000 (I would assume they then went to either Franklin Zoo or Pouakai Zoo, because that is where most spare primates ended up).

    *Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus)

    There is a CITES record for ten animals being exported from New Zealand to South Africa in 1999, but I don't know from which zoo. This is almost certainly a mistaken entry for another macaque species.

    *Chacma Baboon (Papio ursinus)

    Formerly common in New Zealand zoos and circuses. Both Auckland and Wellington had large breeding groups. Auckland's group was derived from an import from Taronga Zoo (Australia) in the 1950s and lasted until the 2000s. Wellington's group may have derived from Auckland's group rather than from a separate import, and lasted until at least the 1980s. The last two individuals in New Zealand were at Auckland Zoo (via Franklin Zoo) and Kamo Wildlife Sanctuary (Zion) (ex-circus), both dying of old age in 2011.

    *White-fronted Lemur (Eulemur albifrons)

    A sibling pair was imported by Pouakai Zoo from Perth Zoo (Australia) in 1995. (The import/export was listed on CITES records as Eulemur macaco [the Black Lemur]).


    *Siberian Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica)

    Formerly breeding at Wellington Zoo. The original pair, Brutus and Baboeska, were imported from Rotterdam Zoo (Netherlands) in exchange for New Zealand birds and produced their first cub in late 1978. Of the last two individuals at the zoo, one died in October 1991 (aged 14 years), and the remaining one was exported to Adelaide Zoo (Australia) in 1992.
    Orana Park had a mixed tiger pair from 1976 through the early 1980s (one Siberian and one “Bengal”) which produced young there. The Siberian tiger was imported from the UK.

    *Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia)

    One pair was imported to Wellington Zoo from the USA in 1986. These are the only Snow Leopards to have ever been brought into New Zealand. The male was born at Cincinnati Zoo (USA) in 1978, and died at Wellington in 1994. The female was born at Seneca Park Zoo (USA) in 1980, and died at Wellington in 1995. Two female cubs were bred at Wellington in November 1988; one died in 1989 at Wellington after an eye infection, the other was exported to Thrigby Hall Wildlife Gardens (UK) and died in 2006.

    *Jaguar (Panthera onca)

    Still at Auckland until the mid-1990s (1996?) and at Hamilton until at least the late 1980s. There was a pair at the Hadlow Game Park in Timaru when that zoo closed in 1986 but I don't know where they went.

    *Puma (Cougar; Mountain Lion) (Puma concolor)

    Still at Auckland in the very early 1990s, and at Wellington and Hamilton until at least the late 1980s. I don't recall seeing them at Willowbank after the 1980s, but I have a map from 1996 which still has them labelled on the enclosure.

    *Bobcat (Lynx rufus) – one male at Hamilton

    In the 1980s and 1990s, Bobcats were kept at the North Brighton Zoo (closed 1996), Wellington Zoo, and perhaps Auckland Zoo (also prior to the 1980s for Auckland and Wellington). The animals at all these zoos seem to have simply died out. Moana Zoo imported a pair from Adelaide Zoo in 1992, and when this zoo closed in 2000 the pair went to Pouakai Zoo, where they bred in 2001. The two offspring (male and female) were sent to Hamilton Zoo (c.2002) and later moved to Franklin Zoo (c.2009/2010). The original male at Pouakai had since died, leaving Pouakai with the original female and one female offspring from a second litter; however both of these two females had died by 2012. When Franklin Zoo closed down in 2012 the two Bobcats there returned to Hamilton Zoo, where the female died in 2013 and the male in October 2018.

    *Asian Golden Cat (Catopuma teminckii)

    Several animals were imported from Australia between 1999 and 2008 to Auckland Zoo and Hamilton Zoo, as well as a female from Singapore Zoo to Auckland in 2002. Although there were several births the cats never prospered in New Zealand and the last three individuals were exported to Europe in early 2011. There are no longer any Asian Golden Cats in Australasia.
    The species was also kept in New Zealand prior to the 1980s (e.g. Auckland Zoo's first specimen was imported from Singapore in 1939, and Wellington Zoo imported one in the 1950s; indeed Wellington may have even bred them in 1954 judging by newspaper reports of that year reporting on valuable "golden leopards" being bred for the first time in captivity).

    *Leopard Cat (Prionailurus bengalensis)

    A female born at Melbourne Zoo (Australia) in 1990 was housed at Hamilton Zoo until mid-2008 when she died of old age (she had been off-display for the last several years of her life). I don't know which year she was first imported into New Zealand.

    *Margay (Leopardus wiedii)

    Auckland Zoo imported one from the UK in 1985. It was not listed in the 1992 stocklist in the Auckland Zoo history book "A Tiger By The Tail". Post #11 of this thread, by Kiwi1, notes two individuals being kept at Auckland.

    *Geoffroy's Cat (Leopardus geoffroyi)

    Still one at Wellington Zoo up until at least the late 1980s.


    *Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus)

    First kept in New Zealand at Auckland Zoo in 1924, and has also been kept at Wellington Zoo. The last individuals in the country – all at Auckland Zoo – were a male named Chimo (born at Auckland in 1960, died 1979), two females which died respectively in 1989 (Lisbeth) and 1995 (Ingrid), and a male named Joachim (died 1995). Lisbeth and Joachim – both wild-caught – had been imported from Copenhagen Zoo (Denmark) in 1964, while Ingrid was imported from Taronga Zoo (Australia) in 1984 but had been born at Detroit Zoo (USA) in 1962.

    *Brown Bear (Ursus arctos)

    Possibly still one at Auckland in the early 1980s (although I have found a reference for the death of the last one as being 1978).

    *American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

    Still at Auckland until at least the early 1980s. Still one at Wellington into the early 1990s (which went off-display in 1991 to allow renovation of the bear enclosures for Sun Bears).

    *Asiatic Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus)

    Still at Wellington until the late 1980s (the last one had recently died when I visited in 1988). Perhaps also still at Auckland into the 1980s.

    *Giant Panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca)

    A pair of four year old Giant Pandas called Xiao Xiao and Fei Fei were on show at Auckland Zoo from October 1988 to January 1989. This was part of an Australasian “tour” for these pandas, staying at three zoos (Melbourne, Taronga and Auckland) for a few months each before returning to China. These are the only Giant Pandas to have ever been in New Zealand.


    *Timber Wolf (Canis lupus)

    These were subspecific-hybrid animals, formerly at Auckland Zoo and Orana Park. The pack at Auckland had been at the zoo since at least the 1950s (possibly much longer). The last six members of the pack were transferred to Orana in 1977 (and claimed by Orana in their guidebooks as being Great Plains Wolves C. l. nubilus). The last three animals at Orana were put to sleep in April 1993 due to old age, and they were the last ones in the country.

    *Arctic Wolf (Canis lupus hudsonicus)

    Still two or three at Wellington until at least the mid-1990s. They came originally from the pack at Adelaide Zoo (Australia), with one pair being imported in 1987. The last animal at Adelaide was also exported to Wellington in 1992.

    *Coyote (Canis latrans)

    Possibly still in the country into the 1980s or longer. They were formerly kept at Auckland and Wellington Zoos.


    *European Badger (Meles meles meles)

    Present at Wellington Zoo up until at least the late 1980s. They almost certainly came originally from Melbourne Zoo (Australia) which was breeding them for decades (the last one at Melbourne survived until 2008). They had been kept at Auckland as well but I don't know if it was as late as the 1980s.


    *Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor)

    Present at Wellington Zoo up until at least the late 1980s, and at Auckland Zoo into the very early 1990s. The original breeding stock had been in the country since at least the 1960s (they had been at Auckland since the 1920s but these weren't necessarily the origin of the breeding stock).

    *White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica)

    Formerly common in New Zealand and found at several zoos including Auckland, Wellington, Natureland, and North Brighton. They had been in the country since at least the 1960s but had died out by the late 1990s.

    *Kinkajou (Potos flavus)

    Present at Wellington Zoo up until at least the late 1980s. They were bred at Auckland in the mid-1970s so probably were still at that zoo into the 1980s as well.


    *Chinese Red Panda (Ailurus fulgens styani)

    In the 1980s all the Red Pandas in Australasia were of this subspecies. Two were imported direct from China to the Hadlow Game Park in Timaru, in 1984 (male) and 1985 (female), but all others in the region (six animals) were imported to Australia from China. Auckland Zoo obtained the Hadlow Game Park pair in 1986 (following the closure of that zoo) and then imported one (or two?) males from Melbourne Zoo (Australia) in 1987. The Timaru female survived at Auckland until 1993 and the Timaru male until 1991, but the Australian male(s) died in 1988. There were only eight Chinese Red Pandas in total imported into Australasia and none of them bred. At the end of the 1980s Australasian zoos switched to A. f. fulgens instead.


    *Leopard Seal (Hydrurga leptonyx)

    Held at the [now-closed] Napier Marineland between 1969 and 2001, via rescued (captured) vagrant animals. There were between six and eight animals kept here. Records from NOAA have the following indviduals: female Snowy, June 1976 to December 1981; female Angie, August 1978 to March 1984; male Rocky, September 1979 to March 1986; male Barney, November 1990 to April 1992; and male Casper, August 1984 to February 2001. There used to be a history timeline on the website of Marineland when it was still in operation which did not include Angie or Barney from the above list, and which seems to have the male Rocky from September 1979 listed under the name Lucky for September 1976 (presumably one or other source has made an error in the name and date, unless they were two separate animals). The timeline also listed an additional three animals not in NOAA records, from September 1969, October 1969, and July 1971.

    *New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri)

    A native pinniped species last kept in captivity in New Zealand at Auckland Zoo (the last animal there was a 16-year-old male which died in March 2020) and Napier Marineland (the last five animals were exported to Australian collections in 2014/2015 following Marineland's closure). Many other individuals had also been kept at these two facilities prior to this. All recent individuals were rescue animals which were unreleasable.

    *Californian Sealion (Zalophus californianus)

    Formerly kept at the [now-closed] Napier Marineland and at Auckland Zoo. The Napier sealions originated from a captive-bred pair imported from the Sea Life Park in Hawaii in 1981. The last individuals at Marineland were two Napier-bred animals exported to Australia in 2015 (after the closure of the park). Auckland's group descended from wild-caught animals (imported 1961) and captive-bred animals from the Sea Life Park in Hawaii (imported 1981). The last individual at Auckland was a 1993-born female which was euthanised in 2016. Both Auckland Zoo and Napier Marineland had also kept Californian Sealions prior to the most current stocks mentioned here.


    *Short-beaked Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis)

    The last dolphin in captivity in New Zealand was a female of this species named Kelly, who died in September 2008. She had been at the Napier Marineland since December 1974, along with another female Short-beaked Common Dolphin named Shona who died in April 2006. The Marineland closed after the death of the last dolphin. Marineland had also held several other individuals of Short-beaked Common Dolphins.

    *Dusky Dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus)

    Held for short periods at the [now-closed] Napier Marineland, with one surviving into 1980. There were at least three individuals kept here: female Cindy from December 1977 to September 1979; female Rebecca from November 1978 to November 1979; and male Nemo from November 1978 to January 1980.

    *Hector's Dolphin (Cephalorhynchus hectori)

    These fall outside my 1980 cut-off date, but it is interesting enough to include. Four animals (2.2) were captured in Cloudy Bay in February 1970 and taken to the [now-closed] Napier Marineland. Three animals died soon after, but one male survived for 2.5 years (into 1972).


    *Mara (Dolichotis patagonum)

    Kept at Auckland Zoo (from the mid-1980s to 2008), at the North Brighton Zoo (from 1992 until the zoo's closure in 1996), and at Moana Zoo (closed 2000). I don't think either Wellington or Hamilton have kept the species. The original animals were imported by Auckland from Australia and the entire regional population was extremely inbred, being descended from just a few animals at Taronga in the 1940s. The last Mara in Australasia from this former stock died at the Western Plains Zoo (Australia) in c.2012. The last in New Zealand were two females at Auckland which died in 2008.

    *North American Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum)

    A pair was presented to Auckland Zoo in 1990 by the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada to celebrate the games being held in Auckland that year. (The animals on offer had originally been a pair of Polar Bears but the zoo declined them). The porcupine pair produced a baby in 1992, but the species had disappeared from the zoo by the mid 1990s (they featured on the 1995 zoo map but not the 1996 map).


    *Grey-headed Flying Fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)

    One pair was imported to Auckland Zoo from Australia in 1993. The female lived to 24 years old and appears to have died at some point in late 2016 or early 2017.

    *NZ Lesser Short-tailed Bat (Mystacina tuberculata)

    Auckland Zoo kept this endemic New Zealand species until 2017. Their animals (of the Central subspecies rhyacobia) were from a group of bats caught in the Waiohine Valley (in the Tararaua Ranges) in 2005-2006 for translocation to Kapiti Island. Some of the group became afflicted with fungal infections in their ears and were considered unsuitable for release, and thus were retained in captivity instead (twelve animals arrived at Auckland Zoo in late 2007, and going on display in 2011). They successfully bred at Auckland Zoo in November 2013. The last animals in their group died in mid/late 2017.
    The species has also been kept at Wellington Zoo. Six animals (3.3) of the Northland subspecies auporica, captured in the Omahuta Kauri Forest in February and April 1981, were on display in the nocturnal house but all had died by the end of the year due to mite infestations. Six animals (2.4) of the Southern subspecies tuberculata, captured on Codfish Island, were kept off-display from 1992 until the death of the last individual in 2000. This group bred several times but none of the babies survived to maturity.
    The species has also been held temporarily in captivity (for periods of several months for translocation purposes) at Mt. Bruce and on Kapiti Island (subspecies rhyacobia), and on Codfish Island (subspecies tuberculata).


    *Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla)

    The last one in New Zealand died at Auckland Zoo in May 1981. It was a female originally imported from Lincoln Park Zoo (USA) in May 1969. There had been a pair at the zoo in the 1970s, and several individual animals before that.


    *Red Kangaroo (Macropus rufus)

    Red Kangaroos have been kept many times in New Zealand since the 1800s. The last in the country were at Auckland Zoo (the last individual dying in 2013) and Orana Park (the last individual dying in 2014). Those at Orana were descended from three pairs imported from Taronga Zoo (Australia) in 1980.

    *Euro (Macropus robustus erubescens)

    At Wellington until at least the late 1980s. Auckland had nine animals in 1977 so presumably they lasted into the 1980s at this zoo as well.

    *Agile Wallaby (Macropus agilis)

    Auckland imported eight animals from Australia in 1976. Four were dead on arrival, but by mid-1977 they had 2.4.2 animals on display. I don't know a last date of holding but presumably they were kept into the 1980s.

    *Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby (Petrogale penicillata)

    Released on Kawau Island around 1870 along with several other wallaby species. They were also established on Rangitoto and Motutapu Islands around the same time but were eradicated from those two islands in the early 1990s to protect the pohutakawa forests there. They appear to have now also been eradicated from Kawau Island within the last five or more years, and they don't appear to be kept in any zoos or private collections now. The last time any were housed in a major New Zealand zoo was at Wellington in 2006.

    *Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps)

    At Wellington until at least the late 1980s.

    *Common Wombat (Vombatus ursinus)

    Last held in New Zealand at Auckland Zoo, up until the early-mid 1990s.
    Last edited: 17 Apr 2020
  2. Cassidy Casuar

    Cassidy Casuar Well-Known Member

    16 Jul 2014
    I know someone who claims to have seen a Polar Bear in Wellington Zoo several decades ago. When were they last there?
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    the world of tomorrow
    the polar bears at Wellington were housed in one of the steep concrete enclosures which later were re-structured into the sun bear enclosure (the one which is currently empty since the sun bears moved). There were two steep enclosures built on the side of the hill, and a third enclosure was a rectangular pit. The first polar bear kept at the zoo was in 1924. They were kept there until at least the 1960s (may have been into the 1970s but I'm not entirely sure). I don't think they were there in the 1980s (the bears at that time were American black, Asiatic black and sun bear) unless it was the first couple of years of the decade.

    This is a 1930s photo of the former polar bear enclosure at Wellington (note that the date at the end of the caption - "Since the 1980s this enclosure has housed Malaysian sun bears" - should read 1990s not 1980s):
    Last edited: 17 Jul 2014
  4. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

    7 Mar 2015
    New Zealand
    Chacma Baboon

    This thread is a really interesting read. I had no idea Wellington Zoo held snow leopards in the 1980s/90s.

    Does anyone have more information on the Chacma Baboon individuals held at Auckland Zoo (prior to Tony from Franklin Zoo)?

    I have an old species list (2002) which lists: Nicholas, Nero, Matthew, Marcus, Maple, Cleo and Claudette. I'm guessing the first letters of their names represent a family connection? Does anyone know the DOBs/parentage of these animals?
  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

    7 Mar 2015
    New Zealand
    Can anyone help with this?
  6. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

    13 Sep 2015
    QLD Australia
    You have lost so many species! Why are most of these animals imported from here in Australia? Is it something to do with Australia being largely disease free like NZ?
  7. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

    7 Mar 2015
    New Zealand
    I'd imagine the restriction is based on the concept of Australia and New Zealand being in the same region (Australasia). Imports from Europe, America and Asia are allowed for some mammals (including big and small cats), but others such as giraffes are not allowed to Australia and New Zealand. This is based on the idea that these species could pose a biosecurity threat to NZ industries. Rhinoceros are exempt from these restrictions as they are under the same import category as racehorses, which NZ were keen to grant an exemption for.

    Australia and New Zealand badly need new bloodlines for giraffe and hippopotamus in the region, as well as several bird species.
  8. Kiwihouse

    Kiwihouse New Member

    8 Dec 2016
    South Island
    List incorrect once again I repeat no animals ever went from Brighton to Moana we held one pig tail Macque and one Theseus both rescued as a joint project with Auckland zoo from dream world in Auckland. Both eventually died at Moana. Mara and Agoutiborh bred well at Moana from Auckland stock as did the Auckland otters, black. So cappuchan also came from Auckland and went to natureland
  9. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    the world of tomorrow
    thanks for the post. However the only one of those species on this list is the mara, and Moana Zoo was not mentioned at all under that species.

    The only mention of Moana Zoo on this thread is for rhesus macaque, for which my information is that the North Brighton Zoo's rhesus macaques went to Moana Zoo when the former zoo closed. That may have been an error, but I'd need to find my source for that again to be sure.
  10. SealPup

    SealPup Well-Known Member

    11 Jan 2017
    It looks like there are no normal zoo animals in NZ.
  11. Kiwi1

    Kiwi1 Member

    25 Dec 2018
    New Zealand
    My memories and childhood species lists go back to early 80's. Hope you find this interesting.

    Auckland had saddleback tamarins in early 80's along with weddels and red bellied. The red bellied were there for many years but others didnt last long. The common marmosets were present at Auckland for a short period in the mid-late 80's. All of these were housed in a small set of cages near the exit to the then kiwi house near the main entrance.

    I have agile gibbon on a wellington list and tend to remember a pair of gibbions but may be confusing with Nippy the lone gibbon. Long time ago now.

    I recall there being two margey at Auckland at one point and probably there into early 90's.

    At one point auckland had sunbear, polar and a very fat black bear all at the same time. Sun bear went first with black still there into mid 80's. I can also recall seeing (and on my lists) kinkajou and raccoon at auckland and wellington.

    For whatever reason I have clear memories of the talpion monkeys (including offspring) and geoffroys cats at Wellington but that would be early 80's.

    I also have a very hazy memory from the late 70's of an eland at wellington but I may be wrong there.
    Jambo and Chlidonias like this.
  12. Matthew Roderick

    Matthew Roderick New Member

    26 Jan 2020
    Is it possible to keep captured weasels or stoats in NZ?
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    13 Jun 2007
    the world of tomorrow
    You need to obtain a licence, and I believe they need to rendered incapable of breeding.