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Marwell Wildlife Okapis

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Fossa, 18 Aug 2013.

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  1. Fossa

    Fossa New Member

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    Marwell has by far the best okapi facilities in the uk. Dose anyone have any information on some of the okapis that are at marwell or have been kept at marwell. Thanks
     
  2. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The on-line Okapi Studbook should help answer your questions about Marwell’s okapis. See the link below:-

    http://theokapi.org/welcome.aspx
     
  3. slendercat

    slendercat Active Member

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    bristol zoo doesn't look after them well they only have half a field
     
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Which is why after all trials and tribulations they have had a successful birth and calf doing well with female mothering well. :rolleyes:

    Perhaps you should read up the Bristol threads a little more!
     
  5. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Since the 1960's Bristol have successfully bred a very large number of Okapi, certainly far more than anywhere else in the UK and they are one of the most long established breeders of the species in Europe too. A calf born recently at London Zoo represents the eight generation of that line.

    They can hardly be accused of not looking after them well.
     
  6. IanRRobinson

    IanRRobinson Well-Known Member

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    I rather like the subdued lighting given to Okapi at Chester as well. I think a lot of species coming from dense rainforest don't care for bright light at all.
     
  7. zoogiraffe

    zoogiraffe Well-Known Member

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    I think you need to do a bit of research,before making comments like that!!
     
  8. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Marwell Wildlife Okapis

    There is a lot more to looking after an animal properly than how much space it has. Bristol, as suggested above, have decades of experience breeding Okapis & were doing it before anyone else in the UK.
     
  9. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    Agree totally and Bristol has an excellent breeding record spanning over 50 years so they must know what there doing. I'm sure the current calf isn't the only one to survive in recent years, although they lost one a year or so ago, i think one one was successfully raised about 4 years ago.
    Which is the best okapi enclosure in the UK is very much open to debate- Marwell have the most space , inside & out & most hardstanding, Bristol probably the leasy, but that is understandable ( in 12 acres!). Is an okapi happier in a vast open paddock or a well planted more compact area like Chester( or as London seem to be attempting)?
    I've rarely seen the okapi in the paddocks at Marwell, that maybe down to their choice or the keepers, i dont know.
    Were Bristol's breeding successes in the 60s/70s achieved from the pairs at the zoo or at the Hollywood Tower estate?
     
  10. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bristol. I think the calf that died was the exception, at least in recent years- most others have been raised successfully. However, I accessed a scientific paper(can't give you a link sorry) that detailed their earlier breedings and family tree in the 1960's-80's era. In those days there was a high proportion of young calf mortalities, perhaps 50% DNS. Despite that, the recent calf born at London (father Mbuti, born Bristol), represents the 8th(?) generation in an unbroken line from their first pair, though in the 1980's they started being involved in EEP exchanges so some later generations were born elsewhere in Europe rather than at Bristol.

    The earliest births at Bristol were from the Zoo pair, later ones would have been split between the Zoo and Hollywood Towers, as at that time the Zoo had a policy of stockpiling their more unusual species at Hollywood, and not letting them go to other Zoos (as with the White Tigers also).

    The first pair of Okapi at Bristol were m. Mazanga and f. Bakeda. In fact 'Mazanga' was a replacement as the first male didn't survive the flight from Africa. At least the first two calves didn't survive- Bristol were feeling their way with this new species, and it was later discovered that spores from the hay/straw bedding caused a lethal bronchial infection in the calves. After the bedding was replaced with peat, they were able to rear calves.

    Marwell- oddly I've often seen one or two Okapi outside- perhaps because I tend to visit in the summer. Its the only place I have seen one cantering(almost galloping) about in a figure of eight pattarn, they do seem to enjoy the extra space that allows for this.
     
    Last edited: 20 Aug 2013
  11. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the Bristol information Pertinax.
    You have definitely been luckier than me re:Marwell- in approx 20 visits over the last 5/6 years, i have only once seen an okapi in the paddock on the female side ( i know they currently only have 1, but there were up to 4 females during this time) and probably a single male in the larger paddock on no more than 3 or 4 occasions.
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I only go far more irregularly, but most times I've seen a male in either the larger or smaller paddock on the 'male side'- sometimes one in each. Haven't noticed on the female side really- not so easy to see.
     
  13. Zoovolunteer

    Zoovolunteer Well-Known Member

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    Now that Bristol has (finally) opened their previously off-exhibit site on the outskirts of Bristol (called Wildplace) they have a new Okapi female up their and have moved their male Rubani next door. The original female with her calf has stayed back at the zoo for now. The new sites' Okapi enclosures are heavily wooded and the okapis do look much more at home there.
     
  14. Jordan-Jaguar97

    Jordan-Jaguar97 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting news - always imagined that Bristol were moving the breeding pair and calf up together.
     
  15. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I suspect they will eventually after securing a good replacement for the city facility.

    Bongos might be next ...
     
  16. Bele

    Bele Well-Known Member

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    I have been looking at the Okapi site . The new Bristol female is kibibi , born 2008 , from Rotterdam .
    Marwell appear to be down to only 2.1 now .
    The European population is looking a bit healthier with 3.4 successful births in the last year .
     
  17. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    If you have not already read it, I would recommend the book My Marwellous Life, written by Marwell's founder. Thoroughly entertaining and lots of info on the inside workings of the zoo world. If I remember correctly, I think it does talk about how they got their first okapi.
     
  18. Bele

    Bele Well-Known Member

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    A fascinating article by John Knowles in the latest Bartlett Society newsletter recounts how he was taken to London Zoo as a child by an uncle . A shilling was given to a keeper at the Cattle Building who took them behind the scenes to meet London Zoo's first okapi . This started his lifelong passion for the species .