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Tembo & Zola

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by willtalbut, 21 Aug 2017.

  1. willtalbut

    willtalbut Member

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    Hi,

    I wondered if anyone else was aware that Colchester Zoo are purposely keeping Tembo & Zola off show to the public? I received an adoption of Tembo from my girlfriend, but had to switch it to Tanya after finding out that Tembo's paddock wouldn't be put on show to the public again. This is what I got from their customer services:

    As you will have been informed during your experience Tembo was a rescued elephant and therefore kept in the quieter area of the elephant enclosure along with Zola who was also rescued. Unfortunately, the pathway around the back of the enclosure is not good enough for us to allow the public to use. We do not usually take adoptions for Tembo for this reason but he was requested because you had had an experience previously with the elephants. We can change your adoption to another elephant if you wish.

    It seems strange to me that they're suddenly blocking off access, even though Zola has been on show for years & Tembo was also on show for many years before being put into private. Perhaps something happened which we don't know about which caused this to happen.
     
  2. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    As far as I'm aware, the path around the back of the elephant paddocks has been closed for a number of years. I'm not sure about the zoo's comment that the path is "not good enough" - but it is certainly a while since visitors had access to it.
     
  3. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

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    Its such a shame that the public can not see Tembo or Zola (although you can sometime get a peek of them when walking near the "sensation station"), as he is an impressive male elephant. Does the zoo plan to breed from Tembo again in the near future?
     
  4. willtalbut

    willtalbut Member

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    I must admit that the past couple of times I've gone to the zoo I've snuck over the barrier to see if I could see him in his paddock but I think he only goes out in the morning for a couple of hours & spends the majority of the time in his own indoor quarters. Yesterday I did manage to see Zola outside for the first time in a couple of years. I believe they've tried to breed Tembo again but have been unsuccessful with the females. The reason they keep Tembo with Zola is because I don't think she can have calves unfortunately.
     
  5. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

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    Ive always been tempted to sneak over the barrier but always chicken out!

    I think the elephant group would really benefit from a elephant calf being born, espicially when you see the great family interactions & dynamics that Chester has with their group of Asian Elephants. It has been such a long time since Jambo & Kito!
     
  6. willtalbut

    willtalbut Member

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    I only go over for a couple of minutes, just to watch them for a couple of minutes. Only time I've seen Tembo in the past few years was when I did a Perfect Partners experience & got to go into his enclosure, but apart from that I haven't seen him once in years :(

    I recently visited Chester as I've got a Platinum Colchester Zoo pass which gets me free entry & the elephants were the highlight. Amazing that you can see them all inside with no glass in front of you & they're all so close which is lovely. Having some young calves does liven up the paddock too, but suspect we'll only get calves at Colchester Zoo if a new bull & cow come to the zoo in the future.
     
  7. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

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    The elephant paddock that houses Opal and Tanya would be more appealing to visitors if you could see the pool as it seems to have been built the wrong way round for when you walk up the path inbetween the elephant paddock and the kingdom of the wild, as the zoo released a video on their facebook page of Opal and Tanya in the water and it looked amazing.

    Do you think bringing in a new bull or cow would actually happen or would AI be option from a different bull? Not sure how old the females at the zoo are now to be honest.
     
  8. willtalbut

    willtalbut Member

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    Yeah it isn't optimal to see them when they're in the pool & also I only recently realised having looked at old pictures that they have put in a lot more bushes & trees inbetween the 2 paddocks to obviously try & give Tembo & Zola some more privacy. I don't think in the short-term there'll be any more elephants at the zoo. I think there'll only be new elephants if the ones that are there pass away, which I can't see happening anytime soon as there'll all still relatively young. I did hear a rumour though that all of the females at the zoo are now sterile, but Tembo could still reproduce, but there either isn't availability or they have no real desire to add another female elephant into a settled group.
     
  9. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

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    They did have a unsuccessful pregnancy with Opal in 2010 and thats the last time I have heard of them attempting to breed the elephants. Although the group is settled it would be a shame to think the group of elephants they have at the zoo could stay the same with no additions for the next 20-30 years.
     
  10. willtalbut

    willtalbut Member

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    I think they've just had so many unsuccessful attempts with both Opal & Zola that they've maybe decided they don't want to go through that again. Also I don't IVF is cheap to perform either. We don't know what goes on behind closed doors, but the only reason they got new elephants in the first place was because Tembo, Opal & Rosa were rescued from Chipperfields Circus. The only way they could get new elephants would be if another zoo doesn't have space for them, and they could only ever bring in cows now due to the bull quarters only being suitable for one male, which was why both Kito & Jambo had to move on.
     
  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I don't think I've seen Tembo and Zola at Colchester on my more recent visits either. But after reading all these posts, and also the Zoo's own explanation, I still can't work out the actual reason they aren't on display to the public.
     
  12. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

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    From my memory there was no official announcement that they were taking Tembo off show. They are still on all the signage outside the enclosure and are actively included in any press releases that the zoo announces on their website (such as when it was announced the "Freeport: Braintree" are the sponsors of the exhibit) so it is a bit misleading to the public that they actually can't be seen.
     
  13. Bele

    Bele Well-Known Member

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    I seem to remember that Tembo does not like people and would throw anything he could get hold of at the public if in range .
     
  14. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

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    That could explain it!
    But with some modifications then surely the zoo could allow access to view him?
     
  15. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    I
    I thought Tembo was, possibly for behavioural reasons, unable to mate naturally?
     
  16. Badgerman91

    Badgerman91 Well-Known Member

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    The past few attempts at breeding AI was used. I think with Tembo, but maybe a option could be using another male elephant with AI?
     
  17. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I'd already guessed that might be the real reason;)- there are several bull Elephants in zoos that have developed that habit. Too risky to have him near people in that case as he could throw stones or rocks.
     
  18. willtalbut

    willtalbut Member

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    Yes the reply I got from Colchester Zoo about the footpath not being good enough was a bit sketchy. I'm not sure if it is anything to do with him not liking people, as when I did my elephant experience I was actually in his enclosure inside, albeit separated by the gate! I know that they've also stopped taking adoptions on Tembo, so it does look like they're intending not to put him on show to the public for the foreseeable future.
     
  19. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Its quite likely he behaves himself when in close contact with people. e.g. if there is food or other interest which diverts him, but during routine display times he may well have developed bad habits- 'throwing' at general visitors is quite common in bull elephants. I still think its perhaps the most likely explanation.
     
  20. woody505

    woody505 Well-Known Member

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    their website suggests their still breeding "All the elephants here at Colchester Zoo are part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme EEP, in which we hope to have much success in the future"