Join our zoo community

New Study: Zoo Mammals Live Longer Than Wild Conspecifics

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Giant Panda, 8 Nov 2016.

  1. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

    24 Jan 2016
    zooboy28 likes this.
  2. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    19 Dec 2007
    Everywhere at once
    Very interesting study. And expected, when we know how short animals live in the wild.

    I think the real effect is even stronger, and most of the remaining 16% mammals live longer in zoos, too. The authors methods were such that longevity of long-lived animals was based on zoos from decades ago, with poorer husbandry practices, compared to short-lived species.

    Longevity of wild mammals appears to be often calculated far too optimistically, due to e.g. picking study populations living in best conditions, overlooking some deaths as disappearance, excluding poaching and overlooking rare but big die-offs. It is e.g. unlikely that average lifespan of wild African elephants is 45 years, because most elephants in Africa were killed by poachers in the last 45 years. Or that average wild Asian elephant lives 60 years, which is close to the maximum possible age of elephants - elephants in zoos at that age have teeth so worn that they cannot eat normal food, although the diet in zoos is less rough. I find it hard to believe that chimpanzees live on average longer in the wild than in zoos, too.
    Giant Panda likes this.