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Lowland gorillas in Europe 2008

Discussion in 'Europe - General' started by Yassa, 5 Jan 2008.

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  1. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

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    {Note from mods - this thread continues from here: Lowland gorillas in Europe}



    A female gorilla has been born in La Valle des Singes, France. Mother is the oldest female of the group, Virunga. It`s Virunga`s 3rd child and her first daughter. The 2 sons (8 and 3 years) are still in the group. In total, this is the 7th gorilla born and raised in La Valle des Singes, which is an excellent result not only because 7 gorillas born in 8 years is great and having a 100% survival rate is great, but also because the silverback Yaounde is genetically important and 2 of the females are wild-born and only started to breed at La Valle des Singes.
     
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  2. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    The Vallee de Singes group has indeed been very successfull, especially for the original four adults(1.3)- none of which had bred before being formed into this group. The male Yaounde, as well as being genetically valuable, had been kept in several previous situations at Artis, Loro Parc, Nurnberg and others. As he matured he was deemed very aggressive and difficult to integrate socially with females. But the Vallee de Singes gave him another chance in a more natural setting- and he didn't fail them- he settled in fine and became a good breeding male and group leader. This is indeed a very successful group now. Very encouraging to see the number of babies born here.
     
  3. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    This is what I meant the other day that some gorilla exhibits are not conducive to gorillas actually forming a stable family group and go on to breed (the London Zoo papers!). :(

    On Yaounde's track record, the previous comments are not entirely clear on silverback quality. At Artis (junior male in a stable family group - the previous breeding male Tembo lest we forget) and Loro Parque (integrated into a bachelor group).

    His status at Nurnberg Zoo, I will check up on. Did he go on to another zoo before moving to Vallee des Singes at all???
     
  4. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure where else* Yaounde lived but I remember Vallee de Singes said he had a previous reputation for being 'aggressive' or 'difficult' with females. I imagine this was simply because he was introduced to only a single female previously whereas at the 3 females at Vallee de Singes could balance him out.

    *he was born at wassenaar but when it closed he was seperated from his mother who was sent to the USA. I heard somewhere he has had 6 different homes...
     
  5. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Yaounde's history.

    Yaounde was born at Wassenaar in 1983. Presumably from a mating of his mother Linda at Artis with their male Tembo. When Wassenaar closed Linda was sent to Milwaukee USA. Yaounde stayed in Europe(property of Artis?).

    He was sent to; Rotterdam (1986)
    Dublin(1988)
    Artis(1990)
    Tenerife batchelor group(1992)
    Nurenburg (1997)
    Vallee de Singes Romagne(1998)

    He would only have been a silverback at Tenerife and later. I think he may have shared the smaller enclosure at Tenerife(before it was turned into just one) with a female(Bianca) and was not part of the main male group there. Only at Nurenburg would there have been integration problems with females(they failed with him) then straight to Vallee de Singes. Its true he had six homes but he was only a young animal in the earlier ones.
     
  6. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad Edinburgh zoo have given up keeping W lowland gorilla, for the time being anyway, their house i don't think was one of the better gorilla exhibits in Europe, in fact i think it was a very poor exhibit.
    What in your minds guys are the worst exhibits for gorillas in Europe, I have heard the old exhibit at Lisbon was very poor and the original ape house at Heidelberg too.
     
  7. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I thought Edinburgh's Gorilla exhibit was definately the worst in the UK. The indoor dens were twilight dark and sunk down like pits, while outside the small public viewing areas were poorly designed and made seeing the animals very difficult.

    Possibly the worst European exhibit I've seen was Rome Zoo's 'Ape House'- just miserable old barred cages inside and out, but that's all ended now and the two Gorillas that used to live in it -Romina and Bongo -now live in palatial accomodation at Bristol and London respectively.

    I think its Krefeld Zoo in Germany where the Gorillas still have no outside enclosures at all, after about 30 years! Stuttgart and Frankfurt enclosures are showing their age too but new exhibits are in the planning.
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    .... and a few others that spring to mind;

    Fasano, Italy- two silverbacks only- very basic indoor cages plus small dirt 'yard'
    Toroparc Romaneche, France- had a pair, now probably only the one male- again very basic accomodation, especially indoors..
    La Palmyre, France. various photos I've seen show very basic indoor accomodation plus small outdoor 'islands' on a lake. The two males Mike and Nyuki live( or did live) together in an old fashioned concrete 'grotto' style enclosure. Though La Palmyre has kept Gorillas for many years they have lost a considerable number, both adults and babies born there..

    and of course,Longleat- one male only now- very basic indoor cages.
     
  9. CZJimmy

    CZJimmy Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't Edinburgh's old gorilla enclosure hold the chimps? (until they move to Budongo)

    If so, do you guys reckon it's more suited to the chimps than for gorillas?

    (I've never seen it so I can't comment)
     
  10. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    I would say no, they have had to adapt the enclosure by erecting large metal sheets around the public side of the ditch, with a couple of toughened glass panels for viewing the chimps, the outside enclosure is still sparsely littered with climbing equipment and the indoor dens are still poorly lit, there is also little opportunity for the chimps to escape the glare of the public.
    When budongo is finished and the chimps moved out, i would like to see the house split between 1 indoor area and both outside enclosures for the trio of Drill that are currently in the monkey house and the other indoor area converted into a nocturnal area for the aye aye, which are making do with an indoor enclosure in the monkey house and one of the holding cages.
     
  11. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    1. Romina was handreared at Rome Zoo. Thus the original gorilla pair in Rome Zoo bred once in this bare enclosure. I guess that if Romina would have had her sight then, she might have become a breeder much earlier. Clearly, Bongo - her companion at Rome Zoo - is not a well habituated male.

    2. Krefeld Zoo are planning on creating an outdoor exhibit for their gorilla troupe in 2008. The model is ready, currently they are canvassing for funding. However, the building work is to go ahead in 2008. :D
     
  12. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    In La Palmyre Zoo a gorilla male was born 2/9/2007 to female Ybana in the presence of the group in the indoor rooms. This newborn "Monza" was immediately attacked by the silverback male Bongo and taken away by vet staff with presumed "serious injuries". From day 1 it has been handreared and in November 2007 it was transferred to the nursery in Stuttgart to resocialize with his own kind.

    What strikes me about the whole episode is the total ineptitude of Bongo as a group leader. His keepers cite him as a gentle somewhat flegmatic individual ....! A group leader should intervene in group altercations and certainly not turn on his own offspring. Something in the psyche in this male is horribly wrong.

    Given this episode, it should immediately disqualify both Bongo (and his equally aggressive brother) from EVER leading a gorilla family group. :mad:

    It seems that with another group leader - a well socialised black- or silverback both females Ybana and Yala would certainly bring up their offspring under natural conditions. As an extra bonus it will make them become more represented in the EEP population.

    Why will La Palmyre Zoo not upgrade its gorilla management? Do plans exist in La Palmyre Zoo to rebuild the gorilla inside and outside dens?

    Perhaps our French zoo friends can elaborate on the issue here.
     
  13. Pygathrix

    Pygathrix Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if it was Bongo who threw stones at us one summer a few years ago. One struck my smallest child who took some convincing after that that gorillas are normal gentle placid creatures
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Romina's parents were a wildcaught pair- Bongo(the first) & Cica. She was their only birth, though I think she was partially mother-raised and partly handreared, at least for a while. Cica later died, then later her father Bongo, leaving just Romina. Bongo(2nd) was obtained as a 'mate' for her. Romina is actually equally sized (almost bigger than) Bongo 2 !!!

    Regarding her cataracts- I don't know if they were due to poor diet early on, or the dark surroundings or what. I don't think they made any difference to her breeding potential though- she didn't breed until provided with a new male(Jock) at Bristol. I don't think she would ever have bred with Bongo 2(now Bobby) as 1. they were a platonic pair at Rome and 2. he is 'no good.'
     
  15. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    the two aggressive males (half-brothers) at La Palmyre are called Mike and Nyuki. They live together without any females and it seems their anti-social upbringing will prevent them joining groups. apenheul considered one of them but was put off by their behaviour.

    Bongo(another one!) is the male with the two females. He isn't related to the above two males, but he is the older brother of Jock at Bristol- these two males do look extraordinarily alike with the same long faces and grizzled grey pelage. I think this Bongo may not himself necessarily be abnormal but maybe the surroundings are very bad to make him attack his new infant like that. As you said its unusual behaviour.
     
  16. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Yes that sounds a good idea. The Drills could use the ex-Gorilla indoor area plus the two outside areas joined together. I'd hope they would landscape the outdoors a bit better but I'll bet the outside viewing areas stay the same.(you have to crane to see over the hedge)

    The other den would be fine for something nocturnal like Aye Aye,- they hardlty need to darken it any more than it is....:rolleyes:
     
  17. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Which zoo are we talking about here, I am getting confused! :confused:

    Re Wassenaar-Yaounde. He was born to Linda and a second male (not Tembo, as he never ever left Amsterdam Zoo in his entire lifetime). You may have to update your own records.

    Re Bongo 2: I hope you did not read into my account suggesting that Bongo 2 would be a suitable breeding male to Romina. I just meant that as soon as she regained her eye-sight, she was immediate breeding game. If the science of combatting cataracts had been there 15 years ago, she would have had 2 or 3 offspring and another baby on the way by now! :cool:
     
  18. CZJimmy

    CZJimmy Well-Known Member

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    Jelle, the zoo we are talking about is Edinburgh
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    1. According to my records, Yaounde's father IS Tembo. Linda was sent for mating to Artis, Tembo didn't ever leave Artis...

    2. 'Bongo 2' and Romina lived together at Rome for about 20 years with no breeding. I think having the cataracts made no difference. In fact, with a proper male, she might well have bred even with the cataracts in place. It was Bongo's fault there was no breeding during all that time.
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    romina.

    It wouldn't surprise me to hear that Romina was pregnant again at Bristol either soon or even now. She became pregnant again only a year after her first ever baby 'Namoki' was born, and while she was feeding him, but (perhaps fortunately) she miscarried, so she is evidently very fertile now.
     
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