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Question, exhibits and numbers of each species

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Reenie Mastrella, 10 Oct 2021.

  1. Reenie Mastrella

    Reenie Mastrella Member

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    Today I watched The Zoo, S5, E1 where they talked about 5 tigers having gotten Covid. I guess I thought they had 2 tigers: 1 Malayan, 1 Amur. Maybe 4 (male/female of each.) Maybe a couple babies, also?

    Which leads to my question. Do zoos have animals (maybe rotating male/female where in the wild they don't live together) on exhibit all day? If not, other than for segregation by sex where appropriate) WHY NOT?

    I guess I would like to believe that animals live in as natural conditions as possible for as long as possible each day. Bad enough to be caged at night and in winter. Maybe some animals don't mind it. But certainly primates must? I don't know the answers but would love some answers. Please understand that, while I appreciate what reputable zoos do to preserve species, and I would love if every animal could die without fear or pain, I also worry about wild animals being happy in cages.
     
  2. GaryA

    GaryA Well-Known Member

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    Why would primates mind? You are attributing them with human feelings.
    Animals in their own denning area are familiar with their territory and will be more secure in themselves.
    You would have to check each zoo's daily regime to see how the animals are rotated-I am aware of one zoo that has 2 different species of cat sharing an enclosure-one has outside access in the day, the other at night, suiting their specific needs.
    Your broader assumption may be that an animal indoors is in some sort of bare minimum "cell" in the dark, whereas they, more than likely, have these days, access to daylight via windows/sky lights, even Heat Lamps and UV, plus bedding, food, water and enrichment, and probably other animals.
    Plus the majority of animals are captive bred and have known noting else, so again, emotive terms like "wild" are not useful.
     
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  3. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I entirely understand your question. Are you asking if animals are unhappy if they are not on exhibit all day?

    We try not to use the word "happy" because we really have no way of telling what that is in other species. But are the animals well taken care of and show a variety of behaviors that indicate a positive relationship with their environment? If yes, then we can interpret that as happy to some extent but happy is purely a human emotion.

    Even if we only see one on display exhibit, that doesn't mean if they aren't in there, they are in a cage. Technically, you can call all animal exhibits in a zoo a cage depending on where you draw your definitions. Because humans have a strong emotional reaction to "cage", zookeepers usually will call them enclosures, habitats, and environments as those better describe modern zoo exhibits. Off-exhibit housing often includes other outdoor areas, indoor spaces, transfer areas, medical stalls, etc. All of which provide everything the animal needs to thrive. For big cats, daily husbandry usually includes moving between these spaces throughout the day to provide new enrichment, training opportunities, etc. This also allows other animals time in new spaces if they are not social such as tigers and leopards. Even in winter, this allows them short periods outside if it is cold so they still get outdoor time. So even if they aren't on exhibit all the time, this doesn't affect their overall welfare in a negative way.

    Primates are usually housed in social groups so the need to split time in an exhibit between animals is less common as all the animals are fine sharing the same space at the same time whereas tigers are not social so they need to split time on exhibit with other tigers that live in the same building.
     
  4. Reenie Mastrella

    Reenie Mastrella Member

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    I guess by happy, I mean that I picture an animal being happy when it can do what it's nature wants it to. So I imagine/believe large cats like to roam around and pick a place to rest. I don't known if theyre content in a small cramped space for most of the day.

    I know my dog love to be outside and sit in the sun. But she also likes to be at side so she seems to be "happy" being near me in or outside. But she definitely would be unhappy being inside all the time. Thus, she barks to go out just to sit in the grass. I don't know how wild animals feel.

    I can agree that if an animal is raised in captivity, it is somewhat tamed by never having experienced any other environment. And certainly, the trade off, as I've said in previous posts, is that the restriction in environment ensures a more painless existence.

    I believe that most zoos love the animals and treat them well. I'm just a little zealous in not wanting animals to suffer.

    TY for the answers.
     
  5. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    The New Zealand zoos typically confine dangerous animals to their night quarters for safety reasons. A breech in an exhibit fence that would be noticed instantly during the day could go unnoticed for hours during the night and there’s the liability issue of people breaking into the zoo at night and wandering into the exhibit of a dangerous animal.

    I’ve noticed a couple of exceptions. Taronga Zoo in Australia found their chimpanzees were less fractious in the morning when allowed access to the outdoor exhibit overnight (as opposed to being confined to the night house); and Auckland Zoo allowed their female Sumatran tiger access to her outdoor arena overnight when she first arrived. She disliked the exhibit (a renovated 1922 lion pit) and the concept of people looking down on her - and for two years, would only come out at night when there were no visitors.
     
  6. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member

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    Nature does not have motive or wants. You can tell if an animal is content with their environment by their behaviors. Certain behaviors indicate good welfare and certain behaviors indicate bad welfare. Medical conditions can also indicate an animal's welfare. Pertaining to your question, off exhibit spaces are not bad for the animals and they are perfectly content spending time there. It is better for their care to have these available spaces. They aren't cramped. Just like you aren't cramped in your bedroom. It's just a space they spend part of their day.

    Dogs are bred to communicate with humans better than other animals. Zookeepers are experts in interpreting the animal's behaviors and understanding what that means. These animals are not stuck inside. These indoor spaces offer everything they need if they need to stay inside for any reason but they are offered the chance to go outside as soon as the keepers are able to. In fact, many animals prefer their indoor spaces so zoos will keep their shift doors open and allow the animal to choose where they wish to spend their time. To many animals, indoors is preferred.

    The question of raised in captivity or not has little to do with what we are talking about here. It's a question of animal behavior and relationships with their environments. These animals are not in pain. A pained animal is easy to spot especially for behavior experts like zookeepers that modern zoos hire today.

    These animals are not suffering. AZA zoos are required to do twice annual welfare analysis on all animals in their collections. This means that the zoos are aware of any welfare issues and are required to take steps to increasing the welfare of their lowest rated animals.
     
  7. Strix

    Strix Well-Known Member

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    An add-on question for any zoo employees or owners, wouldn’t backstage enclosures still be checked by inspectors so they would still follow that country’s guidelines?
    If so, then there shouldn’t be any worries about the inhabitants’ welfare.
     
  8. GaryA

    GaryA Well-Known Member

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    Yes of course, it's all part of the whole. I don't know why such emotive language is being used to differentiate between animals being "happy" outside and "unhappy" inside.

    This is anthropomorphism running rampant and naive in the extreme. The sort of twaddle anti-zoo people come up with.

    Try reading some studies of enclosures and how they serve the animals instead of just watching a TV programme.
     
  9. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    That would include giving predators prey animals to hunt and kill in the enclosure I assume. The prey would be happy in that situation or not?

    Some zoos do indeed design enclosures that enable animals to select whether to be indoors or out and in some cases this choice is 24 hours/day. But the enclosure must be designed to effectively make it impossible for vandals to sneak in or animals to get out since the enclosure cannot be closely monitored around the clock.
    If you have ever crate trained a dog you have seen that they can be most relaxed and feel safest in a small confined place if that is how they were trained. And if an animal is sleeping then it needs security more than "freedom"
     
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  10. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member

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    Honestly that’s where they spend a majority of their time when inspecting.
     
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  11. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Inspectors look at every inch of a zoo, along with all of their records, feeding plans, etc.
     
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