Join our zoo community

Twycross Zoo Twycross Zoo elephants

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Kifaru Bwana, 17 Aug 2007.

  1. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    10,471
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Does anyone know what the plan is with the Twycross Zoo elephants. Twycross born female Karishma at 8 was sent out in August 2006 to Whipsnade.

    However, both the breeding age females Tonzi and Minbu have been without a partner since 1996/1997 and female Noor Jahan has now also reached adulthood at 12.

    It seems such a waste that female elephants in the best possible age have no access to a proven bull of their own.

    Are elephants in the future collection plan for Twycross and do they intend provide breeding space for a bull?
     
  2. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    100% agreement with you on this. But I know they have no current plans to keep a bull. 'Karishma' is on a sort of permanent loan to Whipsnade because of her behaviour. They are talking about using AI on the remaining females.

    Personally, I wish these 4 females would be sent to Chester permanently, and Twycross return to exhibiting older non-cycling females only. I think that's very unlikely though.
     
  3. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    Undoubtedly, as the House is modern, and they have only just enlarged and modernised the outdoor enclosure further- but with no bull facilities.
     
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    10,471
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    I find that rather peculiar. The Asian elephant EEP has fairly restrictive policies on the matter. Zoos not providing for bull facilities will be considered "non-breeding" and only be allowed to maintain older non cycling females. Also, they give recommendations for all breeding age females - so why are Minbu, Tonzi and Noor Jahan still not with a male one would wonder?

    The latter is all the more confusing as without a true reverse in breeding Asians, the species is on the way out in Europe. Whereas over the last few years the sit has considerably improved we can not yet sit on our laureals as 6-7 births is not sufficient to sustain the entire EEP population. A case in point is the increase in older females dying in greater numbers since the last few years. We need recruitment!
     
  5. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    I've asked the mangement at Twycross in the past about their policy for the elephants. They said they were considering at the time their overall plans ... But that was before Karishma was sent to Whipsnade and the accomodation recently renovated- but obviously with no intention to keep a male. I'm not sure why they won't keep a male- there is(or would be) sufficient space to construct facilities. Is it because they need specialist staff?

    Also Twycross previously exhibited a single older Asian female 'Iris' who in fact killed a keeper.. Maybe that fact has something to do with their reluctance, I don't know. But as you said, it seems very strange they are allowed to keep four prime breeding age elephants(two of which are proven already) without detailed plans for further breeding. I for one, find it a very unsatisfactory situation. They are in a position where if they won't 'get off the fence', then they should be keeping only non-breeding females.
     
  6. KJ

    KJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    132
    Location:
    Warwickshire, UK
    I remeber taht this year they have just redone the outdoor part of the enclosure.
     
  7. James Barber

    James Barber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    165
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    As I'm a volunteer at Twycross. There are plans for the Elephants, the zoo will never house a male bull as the enclosure and main house isn't large enough for one.

    I can't tell you much at this stage about our 4 elephants but I will let you know very soon.

    So maybe soon, there will be another elephant baby again at Twycross.

    James
     
  8. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
     
  9. James Barber

    James Barber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    165
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    There are plans for the open fields next to the Elephant paddocks but that is confidential at the moment so there is no chance of extending the main house. Our Elephant paddock is large enough for 4 big Elephants, plus little babies.

    There are certain plans for AI on Tonzi I believe, and maybe Minbu and Noor-Jahan in the future. AI is where the Elephant breeds without sending them away as it is much easier for everyone.

    James
     
  10. Hadley

    Hadley Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    254
    Location:
    London
    I don't personally feel its a bad thing that many zoos are losing their older elephants. I think the temperate zoos suited to housing this species are few in number and I think that if Twycross want to get the housing right before any more cows are pregnant then that's to be applauded. It must be stressful to remove cows from their social group, and as current policy is to move bulls around, then I can see why AI is the best way forward. Does anyone know why Karishma was sent to Whipsnade?
     
  11. James Barber

    James Barber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 Jul 2007
    Posts:
    165
    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    Minbu and Tonzi are only 25 years old. Karishma was sent to Whipsnade Zoo to breed, she was getting to boisterous in the group at Twycross which upset the other 4 Elephants, and which why she moved on to Whipsnade.

    I do miss her in my way. I'm so glad Tara is still here and looking beautiful everytime I see her. I really like our 4 Elephants.

    James
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    Does anyone know exactly WHY Twycross will not keep a Bull elephant?
     
  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    Twycross's elephant house is modern and already perfectly fine for the inmates. The outdoors was recently enlarged and updated further. The only shortcoming is there are no facilities to hold a Bull....

    AI is very time -consuming and has a relatively low success rate. It is also not natural for female elephants to never have contact with a male. Also its now thought calves(especially males) which lack any contact with a bull may have their social development affected too (no father figure!)
     
  14. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    Removing Karishma from the group was undoubtedly stressful, both for her and her mother and maybe the others too. Splitting mothers and their female offspring, as far as I know, also goes against current EEP guidelines.

    I can't understand why an eight year old female(Karishma) became 'too boisterous' to manage and had to be sent away? Is the Twycross House regarded as being too small for more than four females perhaps. Its good for Karishma in one way, as she will probably breed at Whipsnade sooner than any of her group at Twycross.. It seems this is a permanent move with no plan for her to return.
     
  15. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,511
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    IF Twycross is not going to breed their cows they have they should be expected to send them else where for breeding, WHY just sit on them?? WHY
     
  16. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    That implies that if they do breed from them again at Twycross, the young of both sexes would have to leave as they get bigger. So effectively, the enclosure isn't suitable for more than what they have already, plus small calves. I imagine the idea may be to AI one female at a time so as to stagger births so that there is usually a baby for visitors to see, yet keeping the number low?
     
  17. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,511
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    They should be trying to breed as many babies as possible for other zoos breeding programs and since they are endangered as well, not just to have a babies on show for the public, I agree with you Grant keeping number low?, A bit silly I feel
     
  18. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    19,168
    Location:
    england
    That is only a guess, I could be wrong about that but I know Twycross Zoo well and have always felt they are more concerned with display than breeding. For example, they have two groups of Gorillas, but in forty + years have only bred five.....

    I think the historical aspect is important here too. Twycross Zoo was started by two ladies who had run a petshop together. From a few monkeys, it gradually grew into a very large Primate collection and many other species were added too. But even now their buildings are generally on a small scale and the elephant enclosure is by far the largest major building project they've ever undertaken.
     
  19. MARK

    MARK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    7 May 2005
    Posts:
    3,511
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    Maybe its time they had a rethink on the way they are heading
     
  20. Yassa

    Yassa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    11 May 2007
    Posts:
    1,233
    Location:
    Germany
    Actually, I have been told that the keepers were having problems with Karishma - she was not obeying, getting agressive ect. That is not uncommon in captive born elephants who are trained "hands-on" with bullhooks ect. The bull Abu from Vienna Zoo was not even 4 years old when he killed a keeper... while female Hansa in Woodland Park Zoo/USA started attacking keepers when she was 2! It is a shame that the Twycross Zoo sent Karishma away instead of changing the management system to protected contact.

    Sending her away was against the EEP guidelines and keeping all these breeding age females permanently without a bull too, but since the elephants are owned by the Twycross Zoo, the EEP can`t do anything against it. They could kick them out of the EEP and the EAZA, but such drastic actions are very, very rare.