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rothschilds giraffes

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by jay, 18 Sep 2006.

  1. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Ok this is a particular interest of mine and I am hoping that those of you who have closer connections with zoos may have some comment. There are theoretically two groups of giraffes in the Australasian region, Rothschilds and the hybrids. The hybrids are inbred and to try and rectify this problem, young male rothschilds are being used as the new blood. This is happening at Western PLains with Nakuru, Monarto with Tambo and Auckland with Zabulu.
    Now to the Rothchilds, there are two bloodlines, descended from two males, Harold ay Orana and Anthony from perth. And this is where the problem occurs, two founders means that pure rothschild can only be bred for two generations before inbreeding starts to occur.
    The second generation will soon be born in three different places. Perth, Orana and in a few years, Mogo. The next problem is that it doesn't seem possible that new blood will be able to be imported from overseas. So what will happen. Are we likely to lose the pure rothschilds from the region? Along with many other species such as pygmy hippo, bongo and both the tapor species.
    What is the problem with importing giraffe into the region. It can't just be difficulties in moving the animals. Harold, Anthony and all the females were brought into the region in the last couple of decades. Are the zoos trying to find a solution to this or are they just going to muddle along and let the breed die out.

    BTW, this will have an impact a decade or two on the hybrid population as well. All the giraffes being born in Australia at least are closely related. The two breeding males at Dubbo and Monarto are uncle and nephew. Their calves shouldn't be bred together.

    Jason
     
  2. ZYBen

    ZYBen Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Tambo is on exhibit with all the females, all mixes, hes really pumponmg out the babies (must be something in the water, or lack of water)
     
  3. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    its seems giraffes are much like everything else jay. new stock or else....

    hopefully any future imports will be carried out by the zoos that maintain the pure-breds, these new animals being prioritised for that breeding program, and eventually we will see the hybrid giraffes phased-out in favour of rothschild's at all our regions zoos.

    with such a huuuge amount of work going into the big elephant import for our two biggest zoos, the fact that the issue is now pretty much resolved wll result in some attention being paid to importing some of the other species that currently inhabit the zoo.
     
  4. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    importing rothschilds

    as anyone who has read the ARAZPA report should be aware, australian zoos can only import giraffes from new zealand. they are te only species in that TAG that can currently be imported.
    some of the rothschilds giraffes in new zealand have US heritage. at least one male in the region is imported from america-lincoln park zoo.
    i know taronga had intended to concentrate on rothschilds then later reversed this decision. i agree with patrick that zoos should try and import other species who need fresh gene infusions but obviously zoos are not exempt from leglislative reality.
    given that river hippopotamus are in collapse and held only in small numbers in the region, including at auckland zoo, and also considering the massive ammount of money spent on them by werribee, it would be interesting to examine both the bloodlines of this species and future importation possibilities.
     
  5. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    The rothschilds from the US that are in the US is Harold, the breeding male at Orana. The fact that he comes from the Us and the Austrakian branch are from Europe doesn't help. There are still only two male founders, leading to two generations without inbreeding.

    The hippos are also an interesting species. The three hippos at Auckland zoo are closely related, mother and son, an dthe other female, who is quite old is also related.
    Weribbe seems to have a relately unrelated group with at least one male not related to a couple of females but when did they last breed? At least two years ago, and lost two calves at that time.

    I don't know how the Dubbo group are related, if at all, to the others, Zuki-pah may be able to help us out with that one.

    But why can't giraffe and hippo be imported - is it Foot and Mouth? Why should that stop their import when the government imports other hoofed lifestock?
     
  6. Sam

    Sam Well-Known Member

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    The word hybrid doesn't mean "inbred", It means an animal that is a mixture of giraffe breeds. eg Masai crossed with rothchilds
     
  7. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    sam,
    i don't think anyone on this thread implied it did mean the same thing?

    in our region we have three different classes of giraffes.

    animals decended from the original taronga stock (probably purebred nubian giraffes if my old zoo books are anything to go by, but the zoos class them as unknown ancetstry). these animals are pretty disgustingly inbred and we generally reffer to them as such.

    purebred rothschild or baringo giraffes.

    and hybrids between the baringo population and the original inbred population. so far the zoos have been using surplus baringos to re-vitalise the inbred herds. due to the import restrictions, we have been discussing the likelihood that in the future our zoos will only house a hybrid population that will eventually become inbred....
     
  8. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Hamilton Zoo Girraffes

    I sent an email asking Hamilton Zoo questions about their herd .
    They took a while to respond , and they werent terribly detailed in their eventual answer ; but here is the corespondence for your information .
    If they dont intend breeding , I feel that they should at least be available for zoos in Australia/New Zealand ( or elsewhere ) to assist with breeding programmes !
    I tried to get some idea of exactly the amount of paperwork required for NZ zoos to import animals ( using this as a case study ) but the response to that question is equally insipid .
    But for all that , here is the emails;




    Hello Nigel
    Sorry for the delay. Only one of our 5 giraffes
    is a Rothschild. Three were born at Auckland Zoo,
    one at Wellington and one at Orana. Ours is a
    bachelor group, and there are no plans at present to
    breed giraffes at Hamilton. If we wanted to
    import giraffes, it is likely we would attempt to find
    suitable specimens within the Australasian region
    before trying to source them from further afield.

    The amount of paperwork involved in all
    transactions is considerable, and imports and exports take
    months rather than weeks to process.
    Cheers
    Morele

    Morele Rand
    Animal Records Officer
    Hamilton Zoo New Zealand
    PO Box 15265 Hamilton 3243
    DDI 07 838 6720
    Fax 07 838 6960
    Email [email protected]
    Website Zoo



    iginal Message-----
    From: Nigel Foster
    [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Friday, 24 November 2006 10:55 AM
    To: Zoo Information Mailbox
    Subject: Girraffe questions



    I couldnt find the answers on your website .

    Are yours Rothschilds giraffes ?
    What are their origins ( where were your ones
    born ? )
    What successes have you had with breeding them ?
    Are they part of a breeding programme ?

    Which countries are NZ zoos able to import
    giraffes
    ( if any ) and what sort of paperwork is
    required ?

    I belong to an internet forum of ( mainly )
    Australia and NZ zoos , and this is a recent
    topic
     
  9. ZooPro

    ZooPro Well-Known Member

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    Nigel, they don't say that the animals aren't available for breeding. Hamilton hold a bachelor group, made up of animals that are clearly related to the other giraffes at Auckland, Orana and Wellington, the only other zoos in New Zealand with giraffe. Hamilton doesn't say at all they they wouldn't move their males to any other zoo for breeding, if recommended by the studbook keeper. So they are actually available for breeding, if required. They, like all giraffe in the region, are all part of the region's breeding program.

    And bear in mind mate, that zoos get hundred and hundred of letters and emails every day form people asking questions. They generally don't have time to go into great detail for non-zoo people. :)
     
  10. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    rothschilds giraffes.

    You have almost the same situation in Oz with Giraffe as in UK- nearly all UK zoos have either purebred Rothschilds'- or they have hybrids. Because the groups are mostly well-established and long-lived, the only time things change is if a group dies out and the zoo decides to replace with purebreds, or a new zoo/group is established somewhere. I'd say that nowadays well over half the giraffe groups in Uk- including in Safari Parks as well as zoos- are pure Rothschilds. There is one group of pure Reticulated at Whipsnade(though London's are hybrids...) So there are plenty of Rothschilds over here...

    Not much help to you in Australia, I suppose. Australian zoos just need the occassional addition of an unrelated animal(either sex) to keep your purebred groups going strong.
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    hybrids and crossbreeds.

    Technically, I think a hybrid is really something produced by two different species- such as lion x tiger= liger or tigon. But its true that it is often used to describe crosses between subspecies too (subspecific hybrid). When its between different races of one species I think its more correctly termed as 'crossbred' In uk 'crossbreed' denotes a straight mix between two breeds of ( usually domestic) animals e.g. dogs. Where the ancestry is more mixed through several generations- its a 'mongrel'
    There's still no better zoo term/description for e.g. giraffes or lions(or dogs) of very mixed parentage than- mongrels.
     
  12. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    on the giraffe topic, 1 of melbs gireffes, i presume the young femlae, will be at mogo with in next year
     
  13. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    Yes it's not this years calf but the other. This will give Mogo a male and female Roths. Unfortunately they are quite closely related.
     
  14. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    well the feamle they ahd died, and whats whorse was she was pregnent
     
  15. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    perhaps a syptom of the inbreeding?
     
  16. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    she died of SGDS sudden giraffe death syndrome, it is a sudden lack of blood or somethingto brain, or stress realted.
     
  17. Coquinguy

    Coquinguy Well-Known Member

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    london zoo, might i add, actually has the ugliest giraffes i have evr seen in any zoo, anywhere. dawn, steffi and crackers. yuck yuck yuck.
    one of them looked more like an okapi but with a giraffes neck and ridiculously disproportionately short legs and hugely overshot hooves. god they were ugly.
     
  18. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    have you seen anthony the rothschilds at werribee?
     
  19. jay

    jay Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't thought of him as being ugly
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    london giraffes

    Glyn- London zoo giraffes are a good example of what i call 'mongrels' -from many generations of breeding crossbreds of different races. In the 1950's/60's they used to have some fine Reticulated -type animals in the herd- this 'network' coat pattern would still show in some calves even though they weren't pure. I think the current ones are still from the same breeding line- they have gone downhill badly over the years.

    Interesting that Whipsnade nowadays have a nice group of pure Reticulateds- any exchange is only one way-Whipsnade to London, not the other way round.