Join our zoo community

Kaliningrad Zoo Sad news for Pygmy hippos

Discussion in 'Russia' started by Elephas Maximus, 14 Jan 2014.

  1. Elephas Maximus

    Elephas Maximus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    568
    Location:
    Russia, Ekaterinburg
    Yesterday a male pygmy hippo (name Tofi, studbook N 771) died in Kaliningrad zoo.
    During the planned rebuilding of pygmy hippo exhibit, he was placed to common hippo indoor exhibit, where he had separate fenced area. He was previously temporarily kept here with no problems.
    But this time the common hippos broken the gate at night and critically injured the pygmy one, he died after 3 days of therapy.
    The zoo planned to acquire a female for Tofi from Kaunas zoo, but now the plan is cancelled of course.
    They previously lost a PH female in 2011 (name Yara, studbook N 1022), due to kidney malfunction and possible infection from decaying fetus. The pygmy hippo exhbit would house tapirs after rebuilding.

    But those are not the worst news. The hippo body is going to be cremated.
    The white rhino & hippo that died here in last 2 years were partially preserved for the zoo's biofacts collection. However, there's a zoology museum in the city, which has space to house even whales, but the zoo authorities refused to donate those animals, and now they're mercilessly destroying another unique specimen.
    Now there are only 3 pygmy hippos in Russia - male in Rostov (41-year-old male that would probably die soon), 3-year-old female in Ekaterinburg and 32-year-old female in private collection near Moscow.
    Destroying one specimen is a crime against the zoology science. As to destroy a giant panda.
    Earlier, when the stillborn giraffe was born at that zoo in 2011, it was instantly fed to lions which is considered to be normal for the zoo (and this was accidentally seen by visitors, causing a great scandal). They made no difference between a farm-bred livestock (like goat or sheep) and a scientifically valuable exotic specimen, which is much more easy to preserve than adult animal.

    You all abroad should know, there are just few exotic megafauna specimens in Russia. 15 Asian elephants (6 in circus), 9 common hippos (6 in circus), 3 pygmy hippos (soon there'll be 2), 8 giraffes (1 in circus), 1 circus white rhino. Circus ones destined to end up at rendering plants.
    You may breed lots of pygmy & common hippos, elephants, rhinos and giraffes in your huge top-class zoos, dump them after death or preserve in your top-class museums - those are your animals.
    But the fact that our crappy zoos don't care about the fate & value of zoological treasures they keep, it's just heartbreaking.
    Curse those uneducated hairless apes. Especially those who direct the zoos just for money.
     
    Last edited: 14 Jan 2014
  2. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    4 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    1,839
    Location:
    Australia
    There is allot of confronting information your post that should be addressed, however l am also very interested to hear about this privately held pigmy hippo. Do you have more information?

    Thanks in advance :]
     
  3. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    9,003
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    @E.M., this is certainly a wee bit unnerving. One might consider this negligence or an avoidable death: A) how can another species breakdown a door separating it from a concurrent species?, B) how is it possible that an exhibit is not safely secured by multiple separating barriers to prevent an event as described by you from occurring?.

    BTW: C) was it not so … that the Kaliningrad Zoo has had bad press previously in an acrimonius battle of new directorship (which basically had several elements … zoologist vs. non zoo individual without any discernable experience in the zoo business industry (where the very experienced zoologist lost out) and a lack of sufficient funding to modernize the city zoo?

    This incident is all the more unfortunate since male pygmy hippo are in short supply anyway!

    Thanks for any further clarification ..
     
  4. Elephas Maximus

    Elephas Maximus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    568
    Location:
    Russia, Ekaterinburg
    This animal is in the collection of Russian politician & businessman Alexander Osovtsov. Name Pyza, studbook N 572. Born in Poznan zoo in 1981 and rtransferred to Russia in 2001.
    Osovtsov has a lifelong obsession with hippos, so first he collected hippo stuff (sculptures etc), and didn't miss a chance to add a real, though pygmy, hippo to his exotic animal collection (all of them are captive-bred and legally owned, such as cheetahs, lemurs, coati, deer, wallabies, owls, parrots, reptiles etc.). the import took him several years however.
    He planned to breed the hippo by taking a male from Europe on loan for several months, but by some reason this didn't happened (I bet the reason is not money - he has tons of money. Maybe anthropomorphism or lack of patience to get another hippo imported & returned...).
    By his attitude to animals as 'part of family' I doubt that this hippo would be preserved and not buried, while she may die in next 10 years.
    youtube vids:
    hippo indoors:
    cheetahs

     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 Jul 2017
  5. Elephas Maximus

    Elephas Maximus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    568
    Location:
    Russia, Ekaterinburg
    The animals are basically neglected in the zoo. So when female hippo died, nobody was aware that she was deeply pregnant (as well as she had kidney problems) because probes were never made.
    The common hippo house is quite old & outdated. The barrier separating pygmy from large ones might be old too, and remember that most vulnerable part of any fencing - gate - was damaged by hippos during attack. Absence of cameras/overnight keepers is even more disappointing.
    Though animals appeared to coexist peacefully since December...

    Anyway, with Korneev as director, not this hyper-sensitive female with exagerrted anthropomorphism, the animals surely would have been preserved in right way. He saved dead megafauna specimens for posterity when managing Leningrad zoo.
    The fact that pygmy hippo didn't die in peace doesn NOT mean that he should rest in piece, burned to ashes. This is an unforgiveable error for the facility that claims to have 'scientific work'.
     
  6. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Feb 2008
    Posts:
    974
    Location:
    Czech republic
    This is sad end for my favourite animal. I remember the male Tofi from my visits to Jihlava, where he lived for many years. When he was sent to Kaliningrad, I was not happy, but I understood he went there in exchange for another older bull, that was genetically unrepresented in EEP, und therefore very important.
    Rest in peace, Tofi.
     
  7. zooman

    zooman Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    4 Jul 2008
    Posts:
    1,839
    Location:
    Australia
    Thank you, very interesting.
     
  8. Elephas Maximus

    Elephas Maximus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    568
    Location:
    Russia, Ekaterinburg
    Both for she species' conservation program and for zoology, this individual female is lost, doomed to be buried/incinerated as Tofi was.
    Anthropomorphism sucks.