Discussion in 'Japan' started by MARK, 28 Dec 2006.
Great news, TWIN Giant Panda cubs have just been born in Japan, they are doing well, great stuff.
mark, at which zoo?
there is a zoo in japan that OWNS its male panda (as opposed to china owning them) likewise a zoo in mexico OWNS 3 females. for years these zoos have desperately been trying to breed them so that they can continue to keep animals without having to pay the million a year charge to rent additional animals.. could it be?
Yer Pat, both Pandas are own by China and are on LOAN, the twins were born at the Adventure world in Wakayama, 280 miles south west of Tokyo. There is a nice photo of mother and babies at Washingtonpost.com, the female Meli Meli is 12 and the Male Emel is 14.
Patrick- you are correct- there is a male Panda in Japan owned by the zoo rather than by China as they used to be gifts rather than loans- similarly West Berlin's male Bao Bao, the oldest Panda in captivity is owned by the zoo as he arrived in the era when pandas were gifted, not rented.. The Mexico ones too as their pair were gifts so the offspring are too- they did try to breed one female with the Japanese male several times but each time it failed- two of the three Mexican females are likely past breeding age, and the third not far off. You can get details of names, location etc from San Diego Zoo website which has masses of Panda information. San Diego want to retain the cubs they are breeding but at present are still obliged to return them to China too.
Why do the Chinese breeding centres like Wolong remove their naturally raised cubs from the mothers at such an early age? To increase the breeding rate? It can't be natural and the cubs could suffer from socialisation problems later.
Could removing the cubs early make the female Panda come back into heat sooner?, maybe this could be a reason for that. Yer the off srping of any Pandas born at San Diego zoo have to be returned to China by their third birthday. I would like to go and see the Panda station at Wolong in the next few years, i would really like to see the chinese Golden monkeys so I will try and find out what places are holding them before i went over there. Cool animals.
no, their is a very good reason why the panda centres remove offspring...
pandas often give birth to twins, but only one usually survives. so they started taking one baby panda away and attempting to hand rear it - only to discover there was still a very high mortality rate. so they experimented with "switching" the cubs every few days to be blessed with great success. the panda mother nontheless recognised both her cubs and fed and cared for them both irrespective of who was taken away first. it seems that by half hand rearing both cubs, the chance of success with both was very high. it seems formula alone is not good for the cubs, but subtitute it with just 50% mothers milk and some quality time with mum and the pandas grow up fine. i haven't read of any behavioural problems that i know of. but you must remeber these are captive animals, and do not live a "natural" life anyway...
Great news Pandas are breeding so well, would anyone know how that captive bred Panda is going that was released back into the wild?.
Patrick- no, the twins rearing method is a seperate issue. It doesn't explain why all young Pandas at the rearing stations in China are removed at such an early age. One year there were sixteen Panda cubs produced and all were shown together in a Panda nursery.Only some were from twin births, the others were single births. I think Mark is nearer the point- early removal of the cub means they can breed from the female again the following year, instead of only every second or third year.
At San Diego a zoo-born cub is still living with and interacting with its mother at over 18 months of age, so probably still learning from her too. The Chinese breeding stations have obviously found the way to produce larger numbers quickly with this early weaning policy. Will these Pandas be normally socalised as they grow up, without adult contact?.
Incidentally, San Diego's Panda complex is big enough to house up to six pandas, one reason they are trying to get China to allow them to keep the cubs they breed.
The way they rear twin Pandas is intruguing as it means the female must be very tolerant of disturbance- even though they swap the twins over while she is shut out of the den, it does mean someone must enter it quite often. Maybe this is because these Pandas are used to people all around.
This is another way of increasing the population rapidly, as they are successfully raising each set of twins produced, instead of losing one of them.
I think I prefer this to the idea of forcing the females to breed more often by removing the young so early.
In the news today, 34 Giant Panda cubs were born in China in 2006, 4 of those died, wow, great stuff, hope next year is a good one as well.
Yeah, more pictures for the world press of a load of confused -looking baby pandas altogether- I'll bet none of them will see their mothers again. I think that this is cruelty in the name of conservation.
unless the animals are concived with twins, its common in pandas, and the park may take 1 cub before she kills one, there fore getting twice as many pandas?
oh okay i get it - two seperate issues it is.
to be honest, i know nothing much about the issue. i have watched a documentary about the "twin switching" method at one of the centres. they implied that they only did it with twins as all other pandas appeared to stay with their mothers....(?)
china can breed as many pandas and tigers as they like, but unles they start better protecting and restoring habitat - they really have nowhere to put them...
pity nodody ever tried to breed yangtze dolphins...
it is a shame, but then gain it would have be very ahrd, especially to get wild animals accustom to humans, and there would have been a huge need, but who knows maybe one day they will jst pop back again, a secret population. we can dream pat.
oh if only zooboy if only.
i have followed the plight of the yangtze dolphin for only the last 7 years or so... even then back in 2000 there may have been a very miniscule chance of saving them. but in this particular species case, it represents a gross, gross failure of conservation groups to do anything for them at all. all that happened was a monitoring of a species decline, with nothing proactive to save it.
the situation with the yangtze dolphin was so bad - that leaving the species in the wild was to accept its eventual extinction. this was accepted by most for years, decades in fact, yet nothing was done and internal bickering amongst those few trying to save it resulted in a complete failure of their mission.
whilst the (comparitively common) minke, humbacks and other marine cetaceans recived the bulk of all conservation funding, the most endangered of them all and the worlds rarest mammal, got its funing pulled by the WDCS - Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society.
doesn't that seem rediculous? (i'll try and find the email they sent me some years ago justifying their reasons because the first captured dolphin drowned when relocated to the new protected preserve)
the only way to save this species was to, as controversial as it seemed, catch them all and relocate them.
so whilst pandas recieved millions to be bred in captivity because they were cute and people tried to teach chinese tigers to hunt in africa a gorgeous freshwater dolphin, a dolphin (how charismatic is that!) in one of the worlds most famous rivers, slipped into extinction in the modern world.
and most people whouldn't have a clue what the hell it is...
unfortunately, if there are any left at all - it can really only be one or two (the recent survety scoured the entire legnth of the river using sonar) - so the species is funtionally extinct anyway. Qi Qi the only animal that was ever kept in captivity dies a few years ago and whilst DNA samples were taken - i don't belive any exist of any other specimens. a female was captured at one stage but instead of being paired with Qi Qi was placed in the preserve and drowned in a net designed to keep her in.
its particuarly frustrating to me since i have followed the story with such interest for so long. i have written to get different conservation groups to support an immediate project of action and i have watched and read intently as nothing happened and old out-dated information continued to circle that gave a false sense of security....
I think one of the saddest aspects of this story is how a large mammal, belonging to a charismatic group can quietly slip into oblivion and I wouldn't have known if not for you Pat. I pride myself on being a greenie, a tree hugger. I read conservation and science mags such as Wildlife Australia, New Scientist, National Geographic etc, search the internet, I belong to a couple of green groups and I still wouldn't have known. Where does that leave people who are less obsessive about it than me?
pandas & dolphins.
In the case of twins -the switching method is fine and allows both cubs to be part-reared by mum- but then, like the single cubs, they all seem to get removed long before normal at about four months old (even with twins one or even both cubs could stay with her after the early stages).
I do think this early removal is very unnatural, for both the mothers and their cubs. Few people consider this though... they just think how productive the pandas have been. On San Diego's website there were hundreds of responses to the press pictures of sixteen Chinese baby Pandas in a nursery last year-they looked just like cuddly toys in a toyshop and all the responses were of the- Amazing/how cute/aaaw/ aren't they wonderful nature-just ONE person(not me...)queried -why are they being taken away so early?
San Diego understandably make no comment but THEIR cubs stay with the mother until almost full grown(18 months or more). Remember Chinese don't have a very good record regarding treatment of animals. Only a decade ago the Panda breeding centres at Wolong/Chengdu were known to be very basic with most of the Pandas living in barren concrete cells....
Yangtse dolphin- had one big problem- no cuddle factor like Pandas, so ignored by scientists and the world alike until it was too late.
Pat- you should be commended on trying to rally support for its situation, at least you acted....
its just absolutely bizzare jason, i dont get it. not for a second - everyone knew that there was potentially just a few tens of individuals left and they knew that every year that number appeared to drop by another 10 or so - yet the kept scheduling surveys next year or the meetings to discuss the survey in six months time.... did anyone realise that going on current trend there would not be population of ten animals next year? i am horified and disgusted to be honest and its these sorts of situations that gives me the shits with conservation-talkers. do something for a bloody change. even if they had caught the lot and shipped them to bloody sea world orlando they would have had a better chance!
ever read gerald durrell books? hes a drunk englishman who traveled the world in the 70's and 80's catching anthropomophised animals and patronising natives. i'm somewhat ashamed to say it makes for a very simple, yet fun read. however he writes extensively about his proactive method of conservation beliefs. while hypocritical and times (since very often animals died as a direct result of his doings) he did pioneer the concept of actually breeding endangered species in zoos (from what i can gather anyway) nd thus jersey zoo was born - a zoo that has certainly done its part in saving many an obscure liitle creature from oblivion.
whilst he probably would have no doubt drowned a few during capture and lost a few more on a long sea-voyege back to the channel islands a littl epart of me wished gerald durrell or someone with the same attitude (okay maybe someone who took a little more care!) visited the yangtze...
I should add I agree that Dolphins generally ARE very charismatic- but maybe a blind species living in a muddy freshwater river doesn't live up to the popular conception of dolphins. If animals have emotions Qui Qui the captive dolphin must have been one of the saddest animals on the planet.
sure the yangtze dolphins might not have been the cutest dolphins in the world, but it wouldn't much have mattered since nobody ever knew they existed anyway. compared to the indus/ganges species the yangtzes had drawcard potential - they looked closer to bottlenose than their serated-fanged cousins crusing the sewage and carcass ridde rivers of the indian subcontinent!
ever seen a bilby? not that cute if you ask me. but i hear what your saying, and yes poor qi qi.....
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