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This might be a silly question but ?

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by garyjp, 9 Oct 2015.

  1. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    I;m posting this in the UK forum as I'm from the UK.
    Just supposing one owned a Zoo and decided a species change say Gorillas as an example your zoo had never kept Gorillas before. So from building a new enclosure to animal husbandry do Zoos in the UK let keepers go to other zoos to learn about a particular species diet feeding habits etc.Do Zoo owners go to other zoos and look behind the scenes on enclosure design ? And do you Zoos trade/swap animals or does one Zoo have to buy of another? Or do zoos have to be part of special programmes so they can get certain types of anmals ? I cant imagine a Zoo would suddenly decide right Gorillas for us build everything and then ask other zoos for excess animals
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    "So from building a new enclosure to animal husbandry do Zoos in the UK let keepers go to other zoos to learn about a particular species diet feeding habits etc?" - yes, keepers often go to other zoos to learn how to look after animals, most particularly animals with "special" needs such as gorillas.

    "Do Zoo owners go to other zoos and look behind the scenes on enclosure design?" - this would be a yes as well (as in, they "could" go to other zoos rather than they "would" go to other zoos). Rarely would zoos not co-operate with other zoos.

    "And do you Zoos trade/swap animals or does one Zoo have to buy of another?" - it depends on the species. Many animals are bought and sold, especially herptiles, fish, invertebrates and birds (many animals come from private breeders). Equally, many animals are traded or swapped with no money changing hands. And then, again, many species are part of managed zoo populations where no/few zoos "own" the individual animals. In the case of nobody owning the animals, the receiving zoo foots the bill for transport; usually the sending zoo foots the bill for veterinary checks before tranfers.

    "Or do zoos have to be part of special programmes so they can get certain types of anmals?" - that depends on the species. Usually the answer would be no, but for species like gorillas or okapis you are unlikely to be able to get that species unless you are a member of a zoo organisation participating in that species conservation programme.
     
  3. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for your swift and informative reply !
    Just taking this on a little bit then if a zoo decides on building a reptile house or getting flamingoes for instance there is a ready supply ?
    And say a zoo decides that we want flavour of the month animals - meerkats, lemurs & squirrel monkeys for instance there is a surplus of these animals within zoos/private breeders.
    and if a zoo decides to phase out a species are there a group of lesser zoos on stand by so to speak to house these animals?
     
  4. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    basically, all yes.

    "if a zoo decides on building a reptile house or getting flamingoes for instance there is a ready supply?" - a zoo could build a reptile house and stock it solely with animals bought from a dealer or the local pet shop. If you wanted Mountain Chickens or Jamaican Iguanas though, I expect you would need to show that your staff had the necessary level of experience not to kill them. I don't know how available flamingoes are over there, but I assume there would be no problem getting them.

    "And say a zoo decides that we want flavour of the month animals - meerkats, lemurs & squirrel monkeys for instance there is a surplus of these animals within zoos/private breeders." - yes (although lemurs are often on studbooks, so not quite the same as meerkats or squirrel monkeys I expect).

    "and if a zoo decides to phase out a species are there a group of lesser zoos on stand by so to speak to house these animals?" - yes, although ideally you would want your animals to go somewhere that knows how to look after them! If the animals are something like the aforementioned gorillas, then you would send them where the studbook coordinator says they should go (or at least, "ideally" you would - not always the case).
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    your second post is pretty much the reason why new small zoos open with animals like meerkats, wallabies and the like.
     
  6. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    When I say Lesser Zoos i dont necessarily mean in quality more in stature shall we say !
    Then whoose animal is it if they breed ? Im sure for the rarer species then they go onto the studbook until there is a time for them to move on to another location. But how about the more common ones the squirrel monkeys for instance are they in turn offered to other zoos or are they not so strict on the gene pool that they just stay with existing troop etc
    so potentially there is never a shortage of zoo animals ?
     
  7. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    Sorry just an afterthought so if say today i open my zoo ive built my enclosures and I said to all the zoos in the UK ok i can take any animal/bird etc that you no longer need in your collection- immediately there would be a take up
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Availability is the name of the game here.

    Zoos often let animals go to smaller collections if they have surplus from free-breeding species or need to rehouse them for other reasons e.g. closing down. Hence the appearance nowadays of species like Red River Hogs, Warthogs, Blackbuck etc in places where you might not have previously expected to see them.

    At the other end of the scale are the 'top' species where demand far exceeds supply e.g. Okapi where would-be new holders need to be accredited zoos and might still have to wait several years to join the programme.
     
  9. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    Before you can open a zoo in the UK, you must have a zoo licence. Even if you aim to start on a small scale, you must have some animals in proper accommodation, basic facilities for the visitors and staff with appropriate knowledge and experience to satisfy the first inspection before the licence is granted. There are quite a lot of hoops to jump through.

    Alan
     
  10. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    Hi Alan I'm going on the assumption this has all been done
     
  11. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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    Essentially yes, most zoo owners will already have connections in the zoo world and therefore will probably already have certain knowledge of surplus animals being available.
    Some zoos do infact open up without any connections and you will find they are the places that will then buy quite a bit off of animal dealers. It's not just small zoos though even large zoos will buy the occasional animal.