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Los Angeles Zoo & Botanical Gardens Sumatran rhino move.

Discussion in 'United States' started by Pertinax, 15 Feb 2007.

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  1. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Just seen elsewhere on this forum that Andalas, the first Sumatran rhino born at Cincinnati, and later moved to Los Angeles Zoo, is heading 'home' to Sumatra's Way Kambas Sanctuary later this week, the idea being to mate him with the two young females Rosa and Ratu. The older female 'Bina' at Way Kambas isn't mentioned in the news item, though I was told she may be travelling in the other direction- for an attempt to breed her with Andalas's father Ipuh at Cincinnati..... Will that happen, I wonder?

    Must be pretty unique for Andalas- an animal bred in USA , and a first time breeding at that- to be relocated like this but its the only realistic move for him. Lets hope its a success.
     
  2. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    It may be too little too late for the Sumatrans. Time's really running out for them. There aren't enough captive animals to sustain a viable breeding programme.

    Habitat protection is of the utmost importance to save this species.
     
  3. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    Sumatran rhinos could do well at the Singapore zoo? tropical climate and exhibit.
     
  4. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    yes i read about this. how fantastic. lets hope that the fact that the fact andalas is now being moved to way kambas means that the facility there will have even more involvement with cinincinatti and Los angeles zoos.

    zooish, while you are 100% correct that the future to save this species lies in habitat protection and anti-poaching measures, a captive breeding program is a very valuable asset to the fightto protect the rhinos. firstly there is all the valuable data on reproduction etc that is collected by the zoos/centres and second there is the prospect of a secured captive population. now whilst admittedly, the current population is far too small to be sustainable, look at the situation a few years ago - it was virtually dead until two healthy young feamales where relocated to the breeding facility from the wild. if the breeding program continues there may indeed be more opportunities like this where animals at risk need relocation. and while it may be some time off - one day we may be looking at releasing captive born animals back into the wild also - thus having a minimal impact on wild population by taking animals into captivity.

    success with this program, even if it does contain such a small group, will open new doors. if we can master the art of captive breeding sumatrans, i for one will happily support initiatives to obtain more founder stock.

    practical on-site captive breeding works. and i'm really glad that this transfer is happening because it demonstrates the seriousness of the US zoos involved.
     
  5. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    Sumatra rhino transfer

    Perhaps this is something that could be developed as a partnership between
    AZA and SEAZA ( America and SE Asia zoos association )
    If the US ( and other zoos ) could help breed the rhino , and urge the Indonesia zoos to be like a half way house -- even if they set up a rhino farm somewhere in the tropics
    Sepilok had a few rhinos , but their main mission is Orang Utans ( yeah , I know , they are in Borneo ) so it probably can be done ......
    A project like this will help the Indonesian authorities feel that they can do something positive towards preventing extinction ?
     
  6. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    i'm actually more the other way round. a zoo anywhere, let alone on the other side of the world (the US) is not really the best place at trying to preserve one of the worlds rarest animals at severe risk of extinction.

    right now i think western zoos priority is to pour their valuable money and expertise into the way kambas facility and try and duplicate the success of cincinatti and crate a bigger stock of captive rhino. cincinatti zoo has proven themselves, despite the odds aginst them and thus can or the time being operate as a sattelite population of rhino. but prematurely splitting up a population, when its so small, only creates disadvantages and less ooptions for management. by all means establish a sumatran rhino population in captivity in zoos, but not now. its too precarious a situation at the moment. we have to give the program the absolute best chance of success. and thats in indonesia i think
     
  7. Zoo_Boy

    Zoo_Boy Well-Known Member

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    i think the best thing for such an endagered species is, to have aniamls in-situ, breeding in 'wild' but in areas around SEA
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    This news has certainly got everybody hopping ......

    I almost agree with Zooish that 'it may be too little too late' but not quite...
    With two nucleii of animals, one at Way Kambas, and one at Cincinnati- it MAY be possible to increase numbers of rhinos now. On the other hand I agree with Patrick too that only animals in need of relocation should really enter captivity now (except that already there is Suci, Andalas' sister born at Cincinnati who will need a mate soon)

    The crucial thing is whether Andalas, Rosa and Ratu at Way Kambas will breed- for the first time they now have three YOUNG animals in good surroundings so it if its ever going to happen, now will be the time.

    At Cincinnati there's another male calf on the way(Emi's 3rd pregnancy) but his value to them can only be as an exchange for an older unrelated male which they do need -IF they keep the female calf 'Suci' (Andalas sister)

    There are only six viable animals in captivity;
    Ipuh, Emi & Suci at Cincinnati, Rosa Ratu and Andalas at Way Kambas,
    plus three doubtfuls; Bina(f) at Way Kambas, and the Sepilok pair(dif.race)

    Its not much to work with...
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, there are four ' doubtfuls'- I forgot 'Torgamba' who is the current male at Way Kambas but who hasn't produced any young with Bina.
     
  10. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    First of all, Tanjung, the male at Sepilok died in Augustus 2006 due to a freak accident when he was hit by a falling branche during a storm, only 25-year-old female Gelugob remains, which is of a different subspecies as the others.

    Bina should have been moved to Cincinatti in Oktober 2006 but somehow this didn't happen, mostly because her cycles are getting more and more irratic. Now the idea is to mate her with Andalas asap to try and get her pregnant, but that will probably be too late. They should have moved her to Ipuh imo :(

    Rosa is probably still too young to mate, since she approached Torgamba very frightfull and did not know how to handle a male around, Ratu showed she knows how to act with a male, but Torgamba's health is declining. Hopefully he'll liven up just one more time when Andalas arrives to get Bina or Ratu pregnant...

    Only hope remains for this species, i think they are too few and too scattered to get this going in the wild. Perhaps the breeding program could be build around animals that are in need of relocation...

    I just hope that they won't point too much to the failed attempts in the late '80's because i would say that the husbandry levels have been dramatically raised since then...
     
  11. Zooish

    Zooish Well-Known Member

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    No plans for acquiring Sumatran rhinos at the moment, and i also believe its quite hard to get them. Malaysian and Indonesian zoos have priority in receiving any wild-caught rhinos. But we did provide funding and volunteers for some in-situ programs in Tabin, Borneo, run by SOS Rhino.

    I guess my previous post may have been a bit fatalistic, any breeding success now does bring a glimmer of hope to saving this amazing species :)
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Bad news about Tangeung at Sepilok- that leaves Gologob with no breeding options at all (I think she is past it anyway?).

    Re changes at Way Kambas; It sounds like Bina is unlikely to breed now(hope I'm wrong) but in view of her diminished cycling etc, trying her with Andalas sounds the best/last option now, at least she won't suffer the stress and further delays involved with being sent to America. Torgamba I heard also has kidney problems, and he too seems unlikely to breed though it would be a valuable genetic input if either of these older ones did.

    I agree many advances have occurred since the failures of the 1980's- they know about their unusual(induced) ovulation etc and when they can introduce male and female without fighting etc. I'm hopeful things could work at Way Kambas now.

    At Cincinnati they know they need to start breeding from the young female Suci as soon as she is ready- what do you think is the best option for her?
     
  13. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    Are you asking me? My opinion would be:
    At the moment, i would let her stay in the USA, perhaps with Emi and Ipuh or alone at Los Angeles. Then i'd wait for further developements in Indonesia. If a male is found and Andalas is proving himself capable, i would try and get the male over to Suci in the USA, if an institution is willing to spent the money and effort to create a good enclosure and has a decent science level/experience with sumatran rhino's.

    If Andalas is not proving himself and another male is found, i would sent Suci over to Indonesia and let them all stay there together. Allthough stimulance through competition isn't proven with this species, it wouldn't surprise me that having another male around might stimulate breeding.

    At least she needs to be bred within 7 years old and 12 years old imo, not only to maintain a good "cycle" (as far as this species has this) and make sure she doesn't have any growths in her ovary-channels, but also because it seems that females need to have the right behaviour around males in order to breed, and having that experience could be crucial if another male shows up later. If this is going to be with either Andalas or Ipuh then so be it, most species are not severely affected by this in-breeding, serious problems usually arise after several generations.
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Jwer- Yes, sorry, I was asking you....

    I pretty much agree with your scenarios. I think at present it might be safer if she stayed in the USA, at least until its proven that Andalas can adapt successfully to his native habitat and no accidents occur. I agree that if he then mates successfully, and another male apart from Torgamba becomes available,preferably through relocation capture, then maybe it should go to Cincinatti, even if not permanently.

    I agree that for Suci a mating with her father or brother isn't necessarily out of the question either and wouldn't cause harm in the first instance. They're aware they need to breed her at maturity before repeated cycling without pregnancy damages her repro.system. I'm also a bit fearful that something could happen to Ipuh as he's considerably older than Emi- in that case if Cincinatti are to continue, they would need another male anyway...

    I guess that Emi's next calf(known to be male)will eventually go back to Asia- maybe after a stay elsewhere in USA.

    So many 'If's....
     
  15. Nigel

    Nigel Well-Known Member

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    American rhino sanctuary ?

    just a hypothetical one here , but does anyone know of a sanctuary for large animals ( a bit like the elephant sanctuary in Tennessee ) ?
    Cincinatti , Los Angeles and other zoos could donate a rhino or two to the sanctuary ( in a controlled studbook manner ) and continue breeding in their respective zoos .....
    There must be several large open range zoo type facilities in the US .......
     
  16. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

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    I dont know of a rhino sanctuary in the US but the San Deigo wild animal park would have one of the largest rhino collections in the zoo world.
     
  17. patrick

    patrick Well-Known Member

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    sounds like suci should head to indonesia also. try her with the one male left. in the likely event it doesn't work the situation will still be no worse off than that of if she had stayed in the states.
     
  18. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    First of all, Suci won't be sexually active within the next 3/4 years at least. Torgamba's health is allready declining and i doubt he would last that long. Add the factor that it is unsure how the USA born rhino's will react to disease/musquito's/parasites in Indonesia and i would say there's no rush to sent her over.

    If Andalas is reproducing with Ratu/Rosa and another male shows up, i would think about sending that male over to the USA other then risking sending Suci to Indonesia.
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Jwer here. I think Suci is safer staying in the USA at least for the present. Remember what happened at Sungai Dusun where all the captive Sumtran rhinos perished within a year....

    I think she is too precious to be moved yet- she is 'safer' at Cincinnati as they must know more than anyone else now, how to care for this species. By the time she is sexually mature the position regarding a male for her may have changed anyway.

    If Torgamba's health wasn't failing I'd suggest sending him to Cincinnati, but if he was fully fit he wouldn't need replacing with Andalas, and so wouldn't be available (if you can follow that...).
     
  20. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    To do what, exactly? Emi is allready pregnant and won't be breeding within the next 2 years or so, Suci won't be sexually active within 3/4 years and his health is failing because of old age, which is nothing Cincinatti can change?
     
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