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Australia Zoo Harriet the Tortoise Dies at 175

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Zoo_Boy, 24 Jun 2006.

  1. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    It is sad to announce, but the worlds oldest creature has passed away at steve irwins australia zoo.

    Harriet, recently celerbrated her 175 birthday, with the eyes of the world on her to see if she would become the oldest creature ever.


    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2112240

    "She had a very fairly acute heart attack, and thankfully, passed away quietly overnight," Hangar told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. "She had been sick yesterday with, in effect, heart failure."

    http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&n...://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=2112240
     
  2. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    It is sad that she has not reproduced at all. She was from one of the rarer subspecies nigrita from Santa Cruz (Indefatigable island).

    This shows that it is imperative that the Galapagos Foundation makes an urgent appeal to zoos worldwide to investigate the genetic background of their wildborn tortoises and bring them into breeding situations with their given taxon. I believe that the zoo in Omaha, US has done this in the US zoos in part .... or!!!
     
  3. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Jelle, Harriet was the very last of her sub species left in the world, she was for very many years just over looked untill she found a home at the Australia zoo where they did research into her back ground and found her long and very interesting history, she has passed over the years from one animal collection to another, i did get some good photos of her about two years ago.
     
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    MARK,

    This puzzles me somewhat. In the ISIS data set she is mentioned as a Geochelone nigra nigrita. In US zoos 11 individuals of this subspecies are present at least.

    Also if she were a darwini. The CDRS Galapagos station runs a breeding project for this taxon.

    Currently assigned to subspecies captive in ISIS:
    G. nigra becki US 2.0.7
    G. nigra guntheri US 3.2
    G. nigra microphyes US 4.4.4 (breeding at Brownsville, TX)
    G. nigra nigrita US 3.8
    AUS 0.1 (Beerwah deceased)
    G. nigra vandenburghi US 2.2
    SRI LANKA 0.1 (Colombo Zoo)
    G. nigra vicina US 0.3

    G. nigra NL 2.0
    CZ REP 2.0
    SUI 1.1 (1.0 becki, 0.1 porteri
    + hybrid offspring) 1.4.3
    US 33.48.40
    PER 17.7 (Quito Zoo)
    COL 1.0 (Cali Zoo)
    JAP 2.0
    AUS 3.2 (Dubbo Zoo)
    NZ 2.2 (Auckland Zoo)

    G. nigra hybrids US 2.1.3
    AUS 3.0 (Perth Zoo)
    Europe 1.7.14 (all Zuerich offspring)

    Jelle
     
    Last edited: 25 Jun 2006
  5. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Jelle, I did read that Harriet was the last of her sub species! i think it was in an American zoo magarzine, in regards to the 3 males at the Perth zoo, i saw on the Perth zoo website that they were born in the San Diego zoo in 1988.
     
  6. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    yeah, she was supposedly (as genetic tests confirmed) a santa cruz island tortoise as jelle mentioned. however this fact somewhat clashes with the common belief that harriet was collected by charles darwin himself. you see darwin never visited santa cruz island, thus for the story to be true it relies on the unlikely (but not impossible) event that somebody captured her, transported her to another island and re-released her again.
     
  7. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    MARK,

    Very interesting.

    I suspect that the 3.0 Perth individuals are then truly hybrids as the San Diego stock is divided over several subspecies. San Diego Zoo has several subspecies on exhibit and is trying to reassemble on several taxa and put the rest on breeding loan to other collections.

    I cannot remember where I read this though. So, I cannot throw up the details as to which taxa were identified. I think it is the Int. Zoo Yearbook or other.

    patrick,

    I would hope that Dubbo will be able to genetically type its tortoises. It is imperative that the right individuals get to breed. It is usually a game where more males are needed, good feeding not too much protein-rich diet and the members must be of the same taxon (or rather closely related so as has happened with several Isabela subspecies in captivity).

    Can you find out if Dubbo has done anything on that front yet? And what about the genetic background of the Auckland tortoises?

    Jelle
     
  8. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Genetic make up of Auckland tortoises

    Genetics and subspecies etc is not my strong point .
    Can you tell me exactly what you want to know , and I will ask my good friends in Auckland Zoo to answer your question/s as specifically as possible .....
     
  9. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Nigel,

    What I would want to know:

    What is the history on the specimens at Auckland (how where they obtained, any indication as to island from which they were taken)?
    Are they in contact with the Omaha Zoo in US where a genetic research project into captive Galapagos Giant tortoise is being conducted (and which has been used previously to correctly assign subspecies to the 59 unknowns at the CDRS station in Galapagos islands tortoise breeding station)?
    Has actual DNA-fingerprinting taken place and what were the results?

    Regards,

    Jelle
     
  10. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    I have some real nice photos of the Galapagos Giant Toroise at the Auckland zoo taken in 2000.
     
  11. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    for Jelle

    I have sent Auckland Zoo an email asking your questions .
    I will post the reply when I get it