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Perth Zoo Sumatran Tiger Enclosures (formerly 'Great Cats')

Discussion in 'Australia' started by steveroberts, 11 Oct 2016.

  1. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Found out today that the current Sumatran Tiger enclosures were opened to the public on the 17th of November 1984. As a kid in the early 90s I remember the exhibit was divided between the Sumatran Tigers, Persian Leopards and African Lions. The Leopards departed the zoo 2001/2002 and the Lions in 1998 were moved to another enclosure in the African Savannah area (which was the former Painted Hunting Dog exhibit.) Chester the White Bengal Tiger who made Taronga his home since 1992 visited Perth Zoo for a couple of months over the summer period if I recall correct of 1995-1996. With a temporary home from the late 90s to the early 2000s for both the Hunting Dogs and at least one Sun Bear prior to better quality current enclosures being constructed for these two species. While I was disappointed at the time to see Fury and the other Persian Leopards leave the zoo I now see it as a good thing as it has doubled the enclosures space for the Tiger/s. I would love to see the enclosure expanded perhaps by removing the scenic brick pathway that leads up to the two Tiger viewing areas and increasing the front of the exhibit by a potential estimate 10m by 20m (hopefully more than that) and make the public viewing glass or fence be from the concrete path the Elephants are housed directly opposite. Have often wondered if there is potentially enough space within the zoo to fund and introduce a Javan Leopard breeding program which would be awesome to see another beautiful endangered cat from a nearby part of the world have some conservation support from down under.

    p.s My dad another Perth raised chap use to tell me as a kid how he remembered the zoo had a Lynx or Bobcat back in the 70s when he was a kid. This led me on a quest to try discover more about Perth Zoos past endeavors with keeping and or breeding different species of wild cats (and other animals of course) thanks again to everyone who has posted detailed lists/accounts and old photos and maps as historically has been very enlightening albeit sad to see how poor the enclosure spatial qualities were until very very recently :(
     
  2. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Cool, great info!

    I found a news article dated December 1995 that indeed confirms Chester the white tiger's arrival that month and that he was scheduled to stay until February 1996.

    It also mentions the male Sumatran tiger, Calang, who to my knowledge was the first Sumatran tiger to be curated by the Perth Zoo. He was born in November 1990 at Melbourne Zoo, and most likely came to Perth Zoo in 1992, when his twin Selatan was sent to Taronga Zoo. Calang and Selatan are named after National Parks in Indonesia.

    A female Sumatran tiger, Malu, arrived at Perth Zoo in 1999 and bred with Calang to produce three cubs in 2000.

    Do you know what occupied the tiger enclosures prior to Calang's arrival? Lions and leopards?
     
  3. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks for the info zoofan. I'm positive prior to Calang's arrival her enclosure was home to at least one Bengal Tiger (possibly Malaysian/Indochinese or hybrid?) but there were definitely always been at least one Tiger on display in the Great Cats exhibit to my knowledge. As for the Leopards and Lions they were both housed in the neighbouring enclosures which now are the expanded housing space for the Tigers.

    Rare Sumatran tiger Setia euthanased at Perth Zoo after cancer found - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

    Just found this article about Calang's daughter Setia having to be euthanased due to cancer found :( and mentions that her daughter/son Jaya is still housed at the zoo. So I believe that when Setia and her siblings reached their Tiger stage of maturity in early to mid 2000s the decision was made by the zoo to double the size of the Tiger's zone so at least one of the cubs could have its own area (its really cool reading on how adult female Sumatran Tigers in the wild will roam territory neighbouring that of their mothers.)

    But yeah I know their were Persian Leopards (one named 'Fury') in the very next enclosure to the right of Calang's first enclosure until at least 2001. To the right of the Leopards was the old African Lion enclosure of which Alistair the male Lion lived in 1986-1998 when he moved with the Lionesses (sadly I dont know the names) to the Savannah area (Alistair died April 2007 aged 21). I was fairly certain due to the signage as 'African Lions' that they were a mixed genetic hybrid of various African Lion subspecies imported to zoos and sadly circuses aswell in Aus over the centuries. Info in 2003 I read said Alistair had a vesectomy which led me to wonder if his Lioness companions were siblings? I dont know much about this generation of Lions and would love to hear from someone who has more info on them (and or the Leopards and Tigers.) Have no idea if this Lion generation ever produced cubs or not. I dont recall ever seeing any.

    But back to Tigers. To my understanding the entirety of the old Lion and Leopard zone has now become Tiger space so am guessing until the sad passing of Setia she occupied half the territory on one side and her mature age cub Jaya on the other. Would be great to see the territory expanded even more (I've already repeated myself a bit so will stop right there lol.) Does anyone know if other Sumatrans are currently at the zoo or if there are immediate plans to introduce as new individual?

    One last note (again thanks for the info zoofan about when Chester was displayed) I do remember Calang was moved into the neighbouring enclosure while Chester occupied her larger quarters. Seeing as this (Calang's temporary enclosure) was actually half of the Persian Leopard area (the Leopards usually had two viewing glass areas one adjacent to the Tiger/s and one adjacent to the Lions) means that the Leopard territory was probably divided between genders perhaps (anyone with info on this would be greatly appreciated.) I did read on a thread here that Fury had daughter cubs but sadly killed his female partner?
     
  4. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    No problem, happy to help.

    With regards to the Sumatran tigers, here is a brief history:

    Calang (M90) arrived 1992 from Melbourne Zoo and bred with Malu (F96) from Wellington Zoo to produce three cubs, Berani (M00), Setia (F00) and Tenang (M00).

    Berani was sent to the Canberra National Zoo in 2002. He was paired with a female named Rahni but they never bred. Berani died in 2014. Tenang was sent to Paignton Zoo in the UK. He fathered two litters in 2006 and 2009. His eldest daughter, Kirana (F06), has produced several litters herself. Tenang died in 2014. Setia remained at Perth Zoo.

    Malu was transferred to Mogo Zoo in 2003 and had a second litter there. The cubs were sent to Australia Zoo in 2004. Calang died at Perth Zoo in 2006.

    Setia was paired with a male, Dumai (M03), who arrived at Perth Zoo in 2004 from Germany. Dumai was handraised and never bred with Setia. In 2008, Perth Zoo imported a new male named Hari (M97) on breeding loan. Hari bred with Setia to produce two litters:

    The first litter was born in April 2008 and consisted of four cubs. Three died shortly after birth and Setia rejected the remaining female cub. She was named Sali (F08) and was sent to Dreamworld at the age of 6 weeks.

    The second litter was born in September 2008 and consisted of three cubs. Males Sakti and Jaya, and female Melati. Sakti died in 2009 and Melati was sent to London Zoo in 2012. Jaya remained at Perth Zoo.

    Setia died in 2016, leaving the zoo with two male tigers, Dumai (13 years) and Jaya (8 years).

    Are Persian leopards the same as Sri Lankan leopards? I know Adelaide are planning to import them in their recent plans.

    I'm not sure if Perth Zoo's remaining lioness is one of the lionesses you mentioned. I know she's older than the current male.
     
  5. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Hey thanks again,

    No Persian and Sri Lankan Leopards are two seperate subspecies. I think its great that Australia will see some Leopards (ie Adelaide) again in the near future hopefully. Would love for there to be some zoos in Australia to start a Javan Leopard conservation support program (looking at Taronga, Perth and Mogo as the best potential partners in my personal opinion, maybe even Australia Zoo.) Would like to do some more research into Australian zoos history with keeping different types of Leopards over at least the last six or seven decades. Am hoping Snow Leopards will still have a strong network and funding for future conservation support down under. Colder climates like Melbourne, Canberra and Wellington (NZ) seem the most suitable locations for housing Snow Leopards.
     
  6. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    The setup over the 90s (which I am most familiar with) were (from left to right):
    1 male Sumatran tiger (Calang)
    1 Elderly female generic zoo tiger (cannot recall her name or her origin, lived to 19-20)
    3 Persian leopards (male Fury alternating on-show with his two daughters - Tiamat and Ishtar). Male killed mother during second attempt at breeding.
    3 Generic zoo lions (male Alistair and two sisters from Melbourne; names?)

    During the early 90s there was also a female black leopard which was moved to Gorge WP.
    Lions never bred, then male was vasectomised followed by castrated (lost his mane). Lions then moved to Savannah exhibit (swapped with hunting dogs until an exhibit was freed up for them to return). Not sure of Alistair's origin but quite possibly he was bred at PZ.
    Leopards moved to Crocodylus.
    Once exhibits were freed up then all four were used for Sumatran tigers.

    During this decade PZ also housed one male serval (originally from Melbourne) which lived in the Lesser Primates area before an exhibit was constructed in the Savannah area. Not replaced after death.

    Prior to this the big cats were held in a concrete row now within the elephant enclosure. Following the newer exhibits build these were doubled in size (by knocking walls down) and held baboons and macaques.

    The bobcat was housed up to the 80s? in an enclosure now within the elephant extension. Tree kangaroos and dorcopsis wallabies were also in this area.

    Apart from a male? fishing cat that was housed briefly in the smaller bear exhibit (now houses the komodo dragon) during the 00s, I don't know of any other specific cats held at PZ.

    There was talk in the 90s that the Carnivore TAG was going to concentrate on Javan leopards, but possibly due to none/few in captivity this came to nothing. Will be an interesting development at Adelaide if true. I too would love to see the region concentrate on a larger number of cat spp. I recall the glory days of the small cat alley at Melbourne.

    Edit: obviously forgot Chester the white tiger's brief visit. Was alternated with the elderly female tiger (or Calang was moved across). She had access to the exhibit during the evening.
     
  7. Astrobird

    Astrobird Well-Known Member

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  8. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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  9. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Wow thanks Tetrapod this is really informative plus interesting. Had no idea there was a Black Leopard on display at one stage. Yeah in relation to the killing of the female mother Persian Leopard by male Fury you have indeed confirmed that the sad event indeed occurred. From the your info I believe the first Tiger i must have seen on my first trip in 91 sometime was not a Sumatran like i've long just assumed but the old generic/hybrid female (sounds like she was old enough to have lived from the era before the 84 exhibit opening in those old ghastly cruel cages the cats were in before.) Even seeing the Hamadryas Baboons in them in the early 90's seemed cruel and as you mentioned they were occupying what use to be a divided space for different cats. Reading your info reminded me of that old area where the Fresh and Salt Crocs were next to the old Gibbon cages and I remember when those other cages adjacent had Tree Kangaroos and Red Pandas in them in 97. Does this sound accurate? also remember the Wombats had a walled enclosure pretty much where the 'Temple ruin' decoration is now and was there Western Swamp Turtles or another Turtle species/s displayed around there again early-mid 90's.

    Was wondering if anyone could tell me how long the Syrian Brown Bears lived in that enclosure built for them (vaguely remember signage plaque saying sometime early/mid 80s) that now houses the Otters and was there any other animals next door prior to seeing Sun Bears there in 98? was there another pair of Sun Bears in the 80s/early 90s? I cant remember seeing as I had my parents steering us where to go so we missed alot of exhibits. Did remember seeing an Antilopine Kanga/Wallaroo enclosure about where the Red Pandas are (and have been since at least 1999 if i recall they moved there when the Silvery Gibbons moved to that zone aswell.) As I mentioned before about the Otters now in the Syrian's old enclosure I'm pleased the Otters have a bigger facility. I havent visited the zoo since Jan 96 so havent been able to see the upgraded Sun Bear facility or the Otters moved or the Komodo Dragon arrival etc etc I think it was the Fishing Cat and or Sulawesi Macaques when I was last there.

    Feel long overdue for another visit after more than 10 years!! will aim to get to Perth again soon hopefully from old Sydney town :)

    p.s in response to your info on 90s talks about Javan Leopards and other comments about Sri Lankan Leopards etc I do think if Adelaide Zoo decides to go ahead and has their minds set on Sri Lankan subspecies it would be great for (at least another 3) the other major zoos in Aus/NZ to work in a breeding program partnership. My call in a universe where I was able to persuade zoo authorities would be to start a regional Javan Leopard breeding/conservation program as to my knowledge they are the second most endangered following the Amur?? was lucky enough to see one (a Javan) at a Safari zoo in Bali in 2013. Was very beautiful sight but i was not very impressed by the space given to the poor creature or the other animals in that zoo considering it calls itself a 'Safari')
     
  10. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Further notes to your comments:
    * Tiger in 91 - definitely would be the old female. Cannot remember exactly when Calang came to PZ but would think it was after this.
    * Baboons in old row - not really barbaric just very basic. Was better accomodation then they had previously (bigger) and Primate staff kept them well enriched (although they hated the exhibits and wanted the primates out and into new accomodation). Often added woodchip layer for them to forage on.
    * Croc ponds were still in existence during the 90s, only demolished when the new croc/wetlands exhibit was built. Male salti was swapped with another male (current individual Simmo) from a croc farm. Ponds were just down from the Dome cage (near the Gibbon row). Croc ponds area is now part of the extended rhino exhibit now.
    * Tree kangaroo area was same/or next exhibit to one that held bobcat. Correct that turtle exhibit and wombat exhibit were near here, in fact next door to the Big cat exhibits. Wombat exhibit held Indian crested porcupines for a long time.
    * Not sure when bear exhibits were built (mid to late 80s). Syrian bears were in the larger one from the start (from Bear row) and not moved out until 00s (one or both? moved to Mareeba).
    * Smaller exhibit first held Sun bears (from Bear row). Guess individuals probably died of old age. Exhibit held a maned wolf and red panda during 90s before importing sun bears again. After sun bears moved out exhibit held fishing cat during 00s. Has been empty for long periods too.
    * Antilipines were last macropods to be kept in the old paddocks at the top of the zoo. Were sold off to Indonesia, I believe again during 90s.
    * Leopards - if Adelaide interested in Sri Lankans, then makes sense. Slowly becoming more popular in Europe, so I'd expect surplus to make it's way to Aust.
     
  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Calang was born November 1990 at Melbourne Zoo. His twin sister Selatan was sent to Taronga Zoo in 1992, so I'd imagine Calang moved the same year. He was mentioned in a 1995 article.

    With regards to the Persian leopards at Perth, does anyone know the DOBs of the female cubs and what happened to them?

    I'd be interested to know when the mother was killed in relation to the age of the cubs, ie whether they were 18 months old, or whether they were 6 years old and the parents hadn't been together for years. Big cats (especially males) killing their mates is by no means an uncommon occurance but the first time they're paired for breeding is usually the most risky. A male killing the female within an established breeding pair is fairly unusual.
     
  12. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Thanks again hey for answering lots of questions and other details. Am so dissapointed that i never remember seeing the Maned Wolves :( My first experience of them was Western Plain in 1998. Yeah in terms of the old enclosures for Baboons, Macaques, Gibbons etc its fair to say i exaggerated when i said barbaric as its nothing in comparison to the old historic bear caves and similar victorian era cages zoos use to have. I think i copy my mother a bit as shes never satisfied with anything that zoos create exhibit/animal accommodation wise and as an animal enthusiast she has told me a fair few times as an adult how much she resented taking my brother and me to the zoo as kids because she hated seeing 'animals in jail.' She only visited once before i was born in 87 im guessing and it was only so she could see a koala as shes from overseas.)
    My dad only visited maybe once in the 70s and as already said, only recalls a bobcat/lynx, the Polar Bear pool (not sure if he visited before or after that guy was killed but he remembers the story of course), the old enclosure for Tricia and the old Otter exhibit.

    With regards to that area now used for expanded Elephant zone do you know what era (50s?60s?70s?) that those rows of cages for the Baboons, other Monkeys, Gibbons, Tree Roos, and previous Big Cats was built?? would be interested to know as i'm hopeless at guestimating what era displays seem to have been from

    Hey in relation to the Maned wolf and Red Panda did they share that exhibit at the same time in 90s? I thought if the answer is yes then the folks who chatted in the thread below might be interested in knowing.

    http://www.zoochat.com/2/maned-wolves-mixed-exhibits-406396/
     
    Last edited: 14 Oct 2016
  13. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Sorry no idea as to the age of the old rows. Suspect 50/60s, they were definitely there in the 70s. Wouldn't imagine they were pre-war.

    No, the panda and wolf didn't share the exhibit. To be honest the exhibit was pretty small for a maned wolf, but it was a temporary home before the last individual was sent to Dubbo. During the 80s PZ had a very good breeding program with maned wolves (two exhibits) up near the current numbat exhibit. Then they fell out of favour (which I have never understood) and were phased out. Red panda arrived shortly before last maned wolf left, so straight swap.
     
  14. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Suspect they were born very late 80s/early 90s. They weren't very old by mid 90s. Sent to Crocodylus, so I understand.

    Not sure exactly about how the introduction process was carried out. Believe the cubs were mother-reared. The breeding pair were definitely not kept together normally. Think it was just getting the timing wrong...
     
  15. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    The resident Lion trio at Perth in 90s male Alistair and females Mafuta and Manzi moved to the Lion exhibit in the savanna zone on the 24th september 1998 according to a media statement. Alistair was about 12 at the time (died 2007 aged 21) and Manzi was about five, am not sure about Mafuta.
     
  16. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Mafuta was Manzi's litter mate.
     
  17. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    oh they were Melbourne zoo born right?

    With Alistair its bizarre that there was definitely a media statement when he passed in 2007 saying how he'd been born at perth in jan of 86 and there was a photo of him as a cub but now there archive media statements all i can find is the follow up articles of Nelson and Mandelas arrivals a month later (sad they've both recently passed at sixteen years only)

    btw do you think the unfortunate death of the mother female Persian Leopard from the male was the reason that there was an enclosure that Calang the Tiger could move into when he arrived in 92 (and the old Hybrid female did not need to be rehoused upon Calang's arrival or something else)
     
    Last edited: 23 Nov 2016
  18. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Mafuta and Manzi were born at Melbourne Zoo. Manzi was still alive in 2007 when Nelson and Madela arrived from Cairns Wildlife Safari. Manzi was then replaced upon her death by Shinyanga who was forcibly ejected from her previous pride.
     
    Last edited: 23 Nov 2016
  19. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Nelson and Mandela were sadly even younger than 16 years. An article on their arrival in 2007 referred to them as four year olds (born approx 2003) so they would have been 12-13 at the time of their deaths this year.

    I'm not sure how old Shinyanga is and whether they will look into opening up a breeding situation. The enclousre could probably accomodate a pride similar to the former Taronga pride (four lions consisiting of father, mother and two adult cubs).
     
  20. steveroberts

    steveroberts Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to PZ staff i've just received some info on the Persian Leopards that use to be housed at Perth Zoo.

    Princess the female (b 31 October 1980 - d July 1988) and Fury the male (b 2 February 1984 - d Crocodylus Park date??) arrived at Perth Zoo on October 25, 1984 just over 3 weeks before the public opening of the Great Cats (now just Sumatran Tigers exhibit). Princess had been born at Cincinnati Zoo in the US but had arrived at PZ from Adelaide Zoo along with male Fury (he was born at Adelaide Zoo).

    Princess gave birth to the two female cubs Ishtar and Tiamat on January 10, 1987.

    I was informed in the email from PZ that Fury, Ishtar and Tiamat all moved to Crocodylus Park, NT in August 2001 but I also seem to remember another account from the annual report of Fury being moved about a year after his daughters in September 2002?

    Was good to finally know the name of the mother Leopard (Princess) and sorry her life was cut short :(

    Does anyone know when/what age Fury, Ishtar and Tiamat all lived up until individually at Crocodylus?