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Melbourne Zoo Melbourne Zoo News 2018

Discussion in 'Australia' started by Zoofan15, 9 Feb 2018.

  1. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Twiga (born 1996 at Rhenen Zoo) is a purebred Rothschild's giraffe; as are all her offspring as Mukulu was a purebred Rothschild's giraffe. Her parents were Nico (born 1981 at the Arnhem Zoo) and Eepie (born 1989 at the Rhenen Zoo).

    Nakuru (born 2012 at Auckland Zoo) is a hybrid. While her father, Zabulu (born 1998 at Orana Wildlife Park) was a purebred Rothschild's giraffe; her mother, Rukiya (born 2001 at Wellington Zoo) was a hybrid. Rukiya's parents, Ricky (born 1987 at Taronga Zoo) and Tisa (born 1990 at Melbourne Zoo) were closely related and descend from a long line of Taronga bred giraffes, founded by several purebred wild caught giraffes of different subspecies, who subsequently bred/inbred to produce a melting point of hybrids. Auckland Zoo's previous breeding females, Kiri (1984-2003) and Kay (1986-2007) descended from the Taronga stock (paternal line) and were hybrids, therefore their offspring with Zabulu were also hybrids. It's a shame Zabulu was never found unrelated purebred Rothschild's females to breed with.
     
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  2. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thanks for the clarification @Zoofan15
    Any idea where Twiga and Mukulu’s offspring are now?
     
    Last edited: 6 Dec 2018
  3. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Twiga and Makulu had 3 offspring, 1 male and two females. Their first child, a male named Tambo born on 21/10/2000. He was sent to Monarto zoo where he has sired 26 calves. Their second child, a female named Tanzi was born on 22/8/2002 and was sent to Mogo zoo in 2012. Their third child, a female named Shani was born 21/3/2006 and sent to Mogo zoo in 2010 and since has had 5 calves there.

    Originally, Nakuru arrived from Auckland zoo to breed with Makulu but the pair never successfully breed together before Makulu’s death.
     
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  4. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Makulu and Twiga also had a daughter named Tunu.

    Tunu was born at Melbourne Zoo 02/02/2004 and was sent to Orana Wildlife Park 28/03/2005.

    Tunu produced two calves at Orana Wildlife Park (both sired by Harold - a purebred Rothschild's giraffe):

    Savannah F (2011-2011)
    Harriet F (2012-)
     
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  5. Dannelboyz

    Dannelboyz Well-Known Member

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  6. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Do you know where their new exhibit is?
     
  7. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Looks like they are now in the Treetop Apes and Monkeys area.
    There was an empty enclosure right before the Crimson-bellied Conure, which could be a possibility.
     
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  8. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    That enclosure isn’t actually empty. It contains a single coati. It is still possible that this coati could’ve been moved for the cotton top tamirans.
     
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  9. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Definitely a possibility, you can never be 100% sure I guess.
    There were sprinklers on in that enclosure during my visit, and no sign of any species.
     
    Last edited: 12 Dec 2018
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  10. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    ‘Elena’ the female spider monkey born in June was abandoned by her mother three months after her birth. Her grandmother is now caring for her, after keepers intervened.
    Zoos Victoria
     
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  11. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Her grandmother adopted another female named ‘Estella’ in 2010 who was rejected by her mother so it’s great that she’s raising another baby.
     
  12. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I do hope the offspring past and present being by grandmom do have that essential experience of mother rearing capability and will raise their own in future.

    BTW and out of interest: Am I correct to assume the species black-handed is the taxon Ateles geoffroyi and are they pure-bred or crossbreeds with other spider monkey? How numerous is the taxon in ZAA region?
     
  13. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The Australasian region has Black-handed Spider Monkey, and the population is subspecific. There is a medium-sized population currently (around 40-50 individuals) in the region. Zoos like Western Plains, Hunter Valley and Melbourne have all bred them in recent times.
    In the last couple of years, there have been a few imports to introduce new blood (the mother who gave birth recently at Melbourne is from France).
    They are in better shape than Black-capped Capuchins ( which I believe have not recieved any new imports in recent times).
     
    Last edited: 17 Dec 2018
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  14. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    That is good to learn!
     
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  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    There are only about thirty animals in Australia (about seventy in the whole region) and they are not pure subspecies. Very few Australian zoos hold actual groups - most zoos have pairs / trios, or same-sex groups, and more than a few of the animals are now elderly.
     
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  16. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    It will be interesting to see where the region goes with spider monkeys - a general phase out of the 'mongrels' for replacement with a pure line, or continuation with a mixed bunch with no conservation importance. Or possibly phase out before another zoo decides to bring them back in at the last moment. All possible!
     
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  17. toothlessjaws

    toothlessjaws Well-Known Member

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    In recognising that many species in zoos have abysmally low levels of genetic diversity, I've completely changed my attitude on subspecies hybrids in zoos. I think genetic diversity should take precedence over genetic purity and fear we are at risk of ending up with various unviable purebred populations at the expense of healthier hybrid ones. I see no reason why hybrid lineages cannot be managed alongside pure ones.

    Some food for thought...
     
  18. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    From a zoological/conservation perspective, what value would these hybrids hold? Many zoos will maintain one of the key purposes of a zoo is to hold an insurance population of a species as a safeguard to prevent the extinction of this species in the wild, with the view these individuals could potentially be released into the wild (as has been done with captive bred Sumatran orangutans at Perth Zoo). A hybrid animal would be completely and utterly useless in this situtation, as would a tiger that is a hybrid between a Sumatran tiger and a Siberian etc. When we we reach the situation that there is no possibility to add new genetics to the captive population (i.e. all wild Sumatran tigers are extinct) and all we have are captive tigers, then sure, it'll be time to consider other options.
     
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  19. toothlessjaws

    toothlessjaws Well-Known Member

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    A treasure chest of genetic variability.

    But there is not enough genetic diversity in captive sumatran tigers to create a viable population. So zoos are not actually providing this safeguard. Its a false assurance.

    When we are faced with the prospect between unviable purebreds or healthy hybrids we'll immediately reset our values. Thats precisely what been decided with Sumatran rhinoceros. There are simply too few left on the planet to maintain pure subspecies. Do we still value them? absolutely.

    Except by this point in time zoos have potentially phased-out all those genetically healthy hybrids. So now you are looking at crossing your inbred Sumatran tigers with your inbred Siberian tigers anyways. Whereas under a system where you maintained a separate lineage of hybrids, you can not only "top up" either population with genes from a population that 3rd party genetics, but also provide genetics that likely include a percentage from the subspecies being bred back to. Either way you settle for hybrid tigers, only under the system I propose, you end up with a more genetically diverse (and thus resilient) species overall.

    We are going to end up hybridising the subspecies eventually. So why throw out all that valuable genetics now on a false assumption you have viable purebreds.
     
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  20. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    You can hardly compare the genetic situation of the Sumatran rhino to that of the Sumatran tiger. The gene pool of captive Sumatran tigers could stand to be more diverse but new genetics are still available. New imports were sourced from the offspring of wild born tigers as recently as 10 years ago; with Taronga Zoo currently working with a zoo in Indonesia to source further new genetics.

    If hybrids were so valuable genetically then I'm sure that people actually qualified in this field would have figured this out and be pioneering breeding programmes as we speak; rather than removing hybrid species such as hybrid tigers and orangutans and declaring such species obselete in relation to said breeding programmes. To the best of my knowledge, no accredited zoo currently participates in a breeding programme for hybrid tigers (Dreamworld's hybrids are not part of an official breeding programme) and almost no accredited zoo would have any interest in obtaining tigers that aren't purebred Sumatrans (the sub species the region supports).