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Smithsonian National Zoo Smithsonian National Zoo News #2

Discussion in 'United States' started by Nisha, 22 Oct 2015.

  1. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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  2. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I suppose it should officially be stated on here that Kandula the zoo's nearly 14-year-old Sri Lankan Elephant bull has departed for Oklahoma City.

    From Oklahoma City Zoo's Facebook:
    Main discussion here: http://www.zoochat.com/22/kandula-departs-428011/

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  3. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    Finally, a new thread! :D The last thread became a personal conversation thread it seemed. I hope that this new thread is just for news and such and that the posters on the other thread learn how to use PM instead of clogging the thread with spammy posts.
     
  4. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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  5. dcpandafan

    dcpandafan Well-Known Member

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    Zoos facebook.
     
  6. ctfctf7

    ctfctf7 Well-Known Member

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  7. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Rest in Peace Calvin. May Kandula live a longer life and be just as successful in the breeding department.

    I had no idea he was only 29.
     
  8. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    29 is such a young age for an elephant to pass away
     
  9. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member

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  10. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely relevant to NZP--thank you for passing this along--and to dcpandafan for alerting us on the Kandula thread. This was my comment there:

    This is so sad. Calvin was pretty special too, especially for all he gave Europe with his years in Hannover and Ostrava. It's so hard to believe that a virus could have had such lasting repercussions. I wonder if he had some strain of EEHV? It started becoming an issue in the mid-80s; I wonder if he dodged a bigger bullet and was lucky to have even lived?

    This may seem to some like a minor point, but Calvin wasn't an Indian elephant. He was a Sri Lankan elephant, elephas maximus maimus. There are only 3,000-4,000 left in the world, about 10% of the total Asian population. His parents Kamala and Bandara came to Calgary as gifts from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, just as Shanthi and Bozie did, around 1976. I've always wondered if it was a coincidence that these 4 alumna from Pennawala ended up together, especially in a North American population that's so heavily Indian/mainland Asia, elephant maximus indicus. The more I think about Calvin, what are the odds of him randomly being chosen as Shanthi's AI mate? Could it be that the SSP has--even amidst the dearth of Asian breeding males--attempted to keep some pure Sri Lankan elephant genepool going? That would be so foresighted, so wise, so amazing!

    This got me going. If a pure Sri Lankan was chosen as Sri Lankan Shanthi's sperm donor in 2001, and all these Sri Lankan girls have ended up here at NZP, could this be part of some special plan to make our zoo an elephas maximus maximus center in the US? After all, as a full sister of Calvin, Maharani is also a purebred Sri Lankan. With Indy not only Shanthi's first baby daddy but slated to arrive and be bred to Maharani, it would be interesting to know if he too is Sri Lankan?

    Well, I went to the SSP studbook, and it only says "Asia" with no more specific country of origin. However, it's very interesting that he was transferred to Syracuse only a month after 10-year-old (and suddenly of breeding age) Romani went to Syracuse--and Romani's origins are much more specific: "Central Sri Lanka." Could Indy have been intentionally paired with SL Romani--and then with SL Shanthi--to safeguard this sub-species? It is such a shame that NZP doesn't share things like this the way SD or other zoos would. This could possibly explain a lot of what have seemed to be odd choices in the recent development of its elephant program.

    Does anyone out there know if Indy is indeed from Sri Lanka? Does anyone out there know if NZP is part of some well-considered and consistent plan to safeguard/conserve the Sri Lankan sub-species?
     
  11. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    According to Ostrava zoo, Calvin went through acute phase of elephant pox virus infection when he was a calf. This caused decalcification of bones. His front leg started to deform itself. With age and growing weight, the deformation slowly progressed and impacted his motion. Last few years, his front leg got stift and probably painful. And when his second front leg got infection and antibiotics and surgery showed little result, it was clear the end is near. Last few weeks, Calvin was spending most of his day just laying on a sand mound. Walking was too painful while infection in his leg progressed.

    I hope Ostrava gets a new breeding bull soon. Cow Vishesh is cycling again. And Calvin´s daughter Rashmi is with 4,5 years pretty big for her age, over 2 meters now and 2 tonnes.
     
  12. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Jana, Thank you for telling us this right from the source. It must have been terrible for Calvin. What a gruesome thing to endure. I'm not surprised that Rashmi is so big--although that is certainly BIG!--since SL elephants generally seem larger than their Asian counterparts. NZP curator Tony Bathel said Kandula would ultimately be well over 13,000 pounds, nearly 7 tons. With most males here topping out at 11,000 or so, this would make him second only to Columbus's Hank that I know of (who is a whopping 15,500 pounds, nearly 8 tons--check YouTube to see him!) I'm sure that Ostrava has frozen plenty of Calvin's sperm, so Vishesh wouldn't have to wait until a new bull can be arranged. Is it possible that they were bred before he died? (Zoos here never announce breedings, only a pregnancy when it's far enough along to be relatively certain, like 6 months)

    What was Calvin like? Physically and in personality? He's almost a mythical figure to us here now, and before he left, he was almost exclusively in Canada. I've always wanted to know him.

    Is the "elephant pox virus" you describe the same as EEHV, the Elephant Endothelial Herpes Virus that has killed so many young elephants? It seems hard to imagine that there could be another elephant virus, but at the same time, this would be the only instance I know of in which the calf does not die within a few days or recover completely. I'm very curious about this and what you know!
     
  13. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Here is a picture of (I assume) Calvin, taken in March of this year at Ostrava Zoo. You can see a deformed-looking front leg. Physically, he looked pretty much like an elephant to me ;)
     

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  14. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    Rashmi is big after her mother Johti. Johti is 2,7 meters high.

    Calvin was nice bull. Not agressive to cows and calves, but dominant. Physically, he was not too big.

    Elephant pox virus is very similar to human smallpox, it is not identical with EEHV. It is not rare in zoo elephants. Last year, Cologne elephants got infected. Two of their cows aborted because of it, and several adult animals suffered a lot for months, expecially their feet were affected.
     
  15. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    OMG. A limb like this has to bear literally tons of weight. Someone should have been able to predict decades ago that this would be crippling and make him some kind of splinted wheeled boot to help carry this weight. Huge elephant boots for all kinds of foot abcesses have been made over the years. I guess I expected to see some kind of wasting away of bone, but this... It must have impacted his quality of life for decades before he was euthanized...

    If you don't know me or the SINZ zoo, Laughing Dove, Calvin's son by AI, Kandula, was our very first and only calf to survive. We pretty much adored him and gleefully watched every new behavior or milestone like parents would. Since his father was never physically at the zoo, I guess we've always been curious what personality or physical features he could have gotten from Calvin. So lol I guess if I sounded like a curious parent, I guess I am/was! Thank you for sharing this with us.
     
  16. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Calvin sounds somewhat like his mother Kamala, but not Kandula! Kandula has a HUGE personality like a prima donna! His mother Shanthi is tall but not outgoing or dominant at all, so I've always wondered where all this charisma came from. It clearly comes from further back in his ancestry.

    On a more serious note, thank you for explaining the elephant pox virus. My daughter, now in college, has been studying Asian elephants for most of her life, which how I got swept into awareness of them on this continent. Even she has never heard of this before. I'm not sure whether it's just not happening here, or if the cases of abcesses I've heard of are really due to elephant pox but individual zoos don't know that it might be part of a larger phenomenon, or that the entire zoo community knows but simply hasn't explained it to the public. With the Cologne herd as living proof, it's clearly a serious issue to the reckoned with in the elephant community. You've done us a great service here, Jana. Thank you.

    The Smithsonian has America's leading EEHV lab. They would be the logical ones to be studying this elephant pox as well. If not, they should be! I'm going to look into this.
     
  17. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    What is the scientific name of the Elephant pox virus? I want to know more about it.
     
  18. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member

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  19. dcpandafan

    dcpandafan Well-Known Member

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    The zoo no longer has Maned Wolves on exhibit at the Cheetah Conservation Station as both of the Wolves died recently. The zoo says they're looking for a new species for the exhibit but until then the exhibit will remain empty.

    Press Release - National Zoo| FONZ
     
  20. dcpandafan

    dcpandafan Well-Known Member

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