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Moon Bears in US Zoos

Discussion in 'United States' started by ZooElephantsMan, 5 May 2015.

  1. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    So as far as I know, moon bears (asian black bears) are currently dying out in US zoos (I do not know anything about zoos outside of the US). Very few zoos have moon bears, and those who do don't breed them (as far as I know). Does anyone know if there is anything being done about this? Is AZA just going to let the die out or is there going to be an effort to bring them back and start a SSP or something like that? The only zoos that I know have moon bears are RWPZ and the Philadelphia zoo, but there definitely are others.
     
  2. ctfctf7

    ctfctf7 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure of any existing plans to bring in bears, thinking importing may be the best option if AZA decides to do so.

    As far as other facilities who display Asiatic black bears I believe the Denver Zoo currently has 1, and the Virginia zoo has 2 males, brothers named "Thai" and "Chai".
     
  3. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I believe they are yet another wonderful species set to be phased-out by the AZA.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  4. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    That really really sucks. Arent importations like really rare now anyway? so theres probably no chance of getting more and maintaining a sustainable captive population, unless we get some that are rescued from bile farms or something like that because those ones cant be in the wild.
     
  5. carlos55

    carlos55 Well-Known Member

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    I photographed an asiatic black bear at the Milwaukee Zoo about 2 years ago. It does look that the days are numbered for this species in U.S. zoos.
     
  6. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    I am sure import animals would be readily available from rescue centers in range countries. The problem is with the AZA, which continues to whittle down the variety of species in US zoos. As far as I can tell they just want every member zoo to have the same two or three dozen mammals.
     
  7. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I have a list that I compiled that has a grand total of 700 "zoos" in the United States, including everything from traditional urban collections, aquariums, safari parks, insectariums, reptile zoos, etc. At last count perhaps 7 of them had Asiatic Black Bears.
     
  8. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Do you know why?
     
  9. girafee1985

    girafee1985 Active Member

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    The Philadelphia zoo contains these bears as well.
     
  10. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Yeah they do but they only have one who I think is too old to breed
     
  11. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Why does the AZA want all zoos to have the same? It is a matter of practicality (though some of us would disagree with their assessment). The rationale is that in order to maintain long term self sustaining populations, you need to have sizeable breeding groups which means all member zoos agree to carry the same species as part of the meta population. Animals that exist in too small numbers to comply (such as moon bears) are deemed phase-out.

    Those of us who are critical of the AZA approach feel that the problem could be solved easily if they worked with more reputable non-AZA facilities. In some cases they do, but my intuition is that they only do this when they are forced to. In other words, when they need animals from non-AZA facilities that breed them well, they will work with them. If the AZA has its own self sustaining population, they will (as a general rule) not work with others and I think they would like to have a monopoly on species whenever they can. Case in point is cheetahs, the few non-AZA facilities that have them have to import them from South Africa because the AZA breeding facilities will not give any up.
     
  12. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Thats really sad. Do you know of other notable animals that are being phased out? Its a huge shame about all of this because I really like seeing a more diverse variety of animals in zoos.
     
  13. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    A lot of animals have already been phased out in recent years and are now either completely gone or only one or two left that will soon die out. My specialty is cats, so I can say Asian golden cat, margay, jaguarundi (though a couple non-AZA facilities are bringing them back), north china leopard, persian leopard. A lot of antelope have been phased out as well, but someone else would have to tell you the specific names.
     
  14. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I do agree with their idea that self-sustaining, large breeding populations are best but also think that we can have those with a larger variety of species than is currently planned. Also, it gets annoying when they ignore highly endangered species and then maintain highly common ones like Meerkats.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  15. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    I think the bovines are being hit hardest. And that's a real shame considering the amount of species are in there! I don't know why, it couldtshow the diversity of one group while showing beautiful animals and talking about the prey of the abc's such as lions, tigers, leopards...
     
    Last edited: 6 May 2015
  16. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Can you give a example of some such bovines (water buffalo?)? Also, I completely agree with Thylo. I was talking to Gulo Gulo earlier, and he was telling me about how even if a animal has a SSP, that he thinks it doesn't necessarily save them, because SSPs have different levels, and some are more severe than others. For example, elephants are at a high priority so they are a high SSP and thats why theres so much breeding right now, because AZA really doesn't wanna phase them out. Does anyone know if this whole phase out thing is also the reason why seemingly 70% of zoos have red pandas? Gulo Gulo also said he thinks SUN BEARS will also phase out in a while too, and polar bears won't phase out completely, but will become much more rare. Do you guys agree?
     
  17. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    Apologies. By bovine I meant antelopes and gazelles. Yeah, I am sure AZA has to do with the red pandas.
     
  18. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    What do people think about sun bear phase outs and polar bears becoming SUPER rare

    Does anyone know where there is a thread specifically for the topic of phase outs? I know there definitely is one.

    One really good example of animals that were phased out are African forest elephants (loxodonta cyclotis).
     
  19. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

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    I think it's very annoying and sad. I have never seen a sun bear and really want to. Polar bears are just plain magnificient

    It seems unfortunate, but I believe there will be no cyclotis for a long time in zoos.
     
  20. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    I definitely agree. I have seen all the kinds of bears, but the only ones that I actually remember seeing are moon bears, black bears and brown bears. I just barely remember seeing a really sad polar bear, a spectacled bear, and I saw pandas from overhead on the skyfari at the san diego zoo when I was very little (I am a teenager now).

    I would be absolutely shocked if there was a forest elephant in a US zoo anytime soon. When I mentioned them I just gave it as a example of an animal that was phased out.

    Another reason why I think many zoos have red pandas is because they are endangered, small, recognizable, and seemingly easy to breed, which is pretty much everything you could ask for when it comes to zoo animals (From the zoo's perspective at least).