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Wellington Zoo Wellington Zoo News 2018

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by Zoofan15, 31 Jan 2018.

  1. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Wellington Zoo have received a male Capybara from Auckland Zoo.

    Pepe (born 07/06/2016) will hopefully breed with Wellington Zoo's three females Vara, Guara and Iapa.
     
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  2. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    An article has now been released on his arrival (see below). They are planning to introduce him to Iapa (the youngest female first). Infanticide is not uncommon in Capybara, but is apparently less likely to occur if the females are raised together or littermates (as is the case with Auckland Zoo's two adult females). The fact Iapa is younger than Vara and Guara, I'm guessing she is maybe the daughter of one of them? Not sure if this would protect against infanticide with regards to an aunt-niece dyad? Does anyone know the relationship between the females?

    Wellington Zoo’s most eligible bachelor is looking for love

    Wellington Zoo’s most eligible bachelor is looking for love

    Pepe, a nineteen month old male Capybara, has arrived at the Zoo to join our three females, to hopefully contribute to the breeding of Capybara in this region. Pepe has been sent to the Zoo from Auckland Zoo, thanks to an international online matchmaking service for Zoo animals.

    We work with other Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) animal welfare accredited organisations, and progressive zoos around the world, to pair best matched animals for regional and international breeding programmes.

    Matching up potential breeding partners at the Zoo is a complex process and requires a high level of scientific expertise. Matchmaking involves the work of the Zoo’s Animal Science Manager, Simon Eyre, the Animal Care team, and an international online programme called Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS) run by Species 360.

    The ZIMS database has a collection of records on 22,000 species and 10 million animals. The records include things like an animal’s age, its parents, sex, place of birth, and it helps organisations plan for international breeding programmes.

    We sometimes feel like an online dating service where we’re matching animals together, and sending them on blind dates!

    Pepe is a sweet and gentle natured animal and we’re hoping the females will like him just as much as we do. Capybaras are pretty easy going, so they will generally get on well with each other and other animals. It shouldn’t be too difficult matching them up, they’ll ‘swipe right’ to most, so to speak.

    We’re taking our time with introducing Pepe so we will be introducing each of the females to him separately. The youngest female, Iapa, will be the first to get up close with him.

    We have our fingers crossed for Pepe and hope he finds love among his new herd!

    The Zoo is also playing matchmaker for a few other species, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

    We’re in the process of introducing our Goliath Bird Eating Tarantulas with the hopes of breeding and we’re introducing a male Kororā Little Blue Penguin to our current penguin population in addition to our planned Sumatran Tiger introductions.
     
  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm not sure how you intended that sentence to read, but Auckland's female Capybaras aren't from the same litter. They are from different females (same father).
     
  4. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I must have worded it badly. I assumed they were either siblings or if not, then raised together (born to different mothers a few weeks apart). Do you know the age difference between them out of interest? Or the relationship between the Wellington females?
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    It's something like two weeks difference. They are almost the same age.
     
  6. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    An article about the zoo breeding Goliath Bird-eating Spiders:
    Tinder for tarantulas at Wellington Zoo

    It's the first breeding programme of Goliath Bird Eater tarantula in Australasia, and the first globally since records started being kept 20 years ago.

    Wellington Zoo says there are only 88 of these types of spiders officially kept on record around the globe.

    The zoo has nine of them, and right now six – two males and four females – are ready for mating.

    ...


    If the breeding programme at Wellington Zoo is successful, the team hopes to see around 200 spiderlings. The number could be as high as 500 – but that depends on how many youngsters survive.

    Wellington Zoo will be contacting other institutes around the world so the new spiders can be re-homed.
     
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  7. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    The red panda cub born 17th December 2017 is a male. It received a health check yesterday and is starting to venture out of the nesting box. It will be named by the Red Panda Network. Not sure why Wellington Zoo staff don't get the honour, though generally the Red Panda Network come up with decent names, better than Sir Ed (red panda named by Wellington Zoo in 2008) at least.
     
  8. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Following on from Auckland Zoo announcing that they have Australian Burrowing Cockroaches and Australian Rhinoceros Beetles (Auckland Zoo - Auckland Zoo News 2018), Wellington has announced in their email newsletter that they also have these two species. It is worded a little awkwardly, implying they only have one individual of each, and that they aren't on regular display but rather in the show which they do.
     
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  9. driftaguy

    driftaguy Well-Known Member

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  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Snow Leopards

    $3.5m from council purrs for Wellington Zoo snow leopards

    A plan to bring snow leopards to Wellington is back on the agenda – and this time it has funding.

    The endangered big cats have been on Wellington Zoo's wishlist for years but plans were delayed by money issues.

    Wellington City Council, which owns the zoo, has now set aside about $3.5 million in its draft 2018-28 Long-Term Plan (LTP) to rehome a pair from a zoo in the United States within roughly two years.

    Wellington Zoo chief executive Karen Fifield said the zoo would fundraise 25 per cent of the costs for all its LTP projects.

    The snow leopards would complete the zoo's Asia precinct and would be one of the final pieces in its 10-year capital programme.

    "They are my favourite cats. They live in high areas in the Himalayas and have feet the size of dinner plates," she said.

    The zoo did not plan to breed the cats.

    "As the only zoo in New Zealand with snow leopards, we would be part of the international commitment to protect this species."

    She believed the New Zealand climate would not be an issue for the cats, which had been bred in a US zoo.

    A further $5m had been earmarked for expansion of the cheetah and lion habitats towards the end of the plan.

    They required newer housing and viewing arrangements and the work would complete the Africa precinct.

    The upgrade would mean the male and female lions could go on display together.

    International research cited in zoo documents showed big cats were the biggest draw card for visitors.

    The funds have been pegged for years two, three and four of the 10-year plan.

    The zoo was also keen to build eco, overnight stay options in the area.

    In total, the LTP sets out about $10m for zoo renewals and $10m for zoo upgrades over ten years.

    Future capital investment would ensure the zoo remained at the leading edge and the acquisition of animals such as snow leopards would allow it tell a global conversation story, which would drive action for the environment, the zoo's plan says.

    "We see our capital investment and asset planning as a response to the community expectations of a progressive and professional zoo and to create ongoing resilience for one of the city's most iconic places."

    In the meantime, the zoo has started working on a plan to breed its Sumatran tigers, Senja and Bashii.

    "We could see cubs at the end of next year, but it could be longer."

    Genetically, Bashii was the most important male tiger in human care outside Indonesia because his parents were born in the wild.

    The zoo's upgrade wishlist extended beyond the council's 10-year plan and Fifield said it was important to let the owners know what would be needed ahead of time.

    It would like a $5.5m upgrade of the welcome plaza, which was unsuitable for growth in visitor numbers, and $2m for the replacement of the Archibald centre venue, which the zoo said would reduce ratepayer burden by assisting with revenue.
     
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  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Wellington Zoo former keeper Murray Roberts has died.


    After more than half a century caring for the animals, Wellington Zoo's longest-serving keeper Murray Roberts has passed away.

    When Roberts first started at Wellington Zoo he was allowed to work in sandals and take his favourite elephant for a walk in the town belt.

    After retiring in November 2016, Roberts remained on with the zoo in a casual role, but finally stopped working in recent times due to health reasons.




    Read more here: Wellington's longest-serving zookeeper spent 50 years working with the animals

    There's a short video on the link too.
     
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Quake-prone home funding priority over snow leopards, says Wellington residents' group

    Inner-city residents are asking for help to fund the mandatory seismic strengthening of their earthquake-prone homes - at the expense of Wellington Zoo.

    They say some residents will be forced out of their homes and suggest Wellington City Council uses the $10 million it has pegged for zoo upgrades (including $3.5m for snow leopards) over 10 years to fund new initiatives for earthquake-prone buildings.

    ....

    [...] funding for the proposals could come from a range of other initiatives in the council's Long-Term Plan (LTP), such as the proposal for zoo upgrades for snow tigers and cheetahs.

    "In our view, snow tigers are not a priority when private owners are funding public good outcomes, and for some, face losing their homes."


    Full article on the link above.
     
  14. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Snow tigers. I think this pretty much sums this up.

    Hopefully nothing will even come of this. For Wellington Zoo to have been allocated this funding in the first place, there were clearly some solid and well supported reasons for doing so. No doubt based upon the zoo’s contributions to conservation and key role in attracting visitors to visit the world class zoo in New Zealand’s capital city. A zoo which can only remain world class with strategic and regular support #$$$$.
     
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  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I've been holding off on posting about this because the zoo hadn't made any announcement about it, but they are now on show so not a "secret" any more. Two female Crested Porcupines were imported from the USA a while ago to join the zoo's lone male. There are currently two animals on display, which I presume are the male and one of the females.
     
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  16. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    From the zoos facebook page:

    Three young meerkats were born in mid July
     
  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I popped into the zoo today. The Cunningham's Skinks are no longer on show and their name has been removed from the terrarium they were in (so now there are two tanks just holding Blue-tongued Skinks); I don't know if that means they are no longer kept or just taken off display.

    Better news is that the Hero HQ (built in 2013) has some actual identification signs!! Each tank has a little sticker in the corner of the glass with a photo of the species and its name. So it will have (for example) a photo of a Leopard Gecko with the name, and "look under the log" to show people where the animal is likely to be. Even the Giant Millipedes are now labelled, which they have never been before. Previously I would always have to help out other visitors because the information on the exhibit is so badly employed that they couldn't tell what they were supposed to be looking for in the tanks - today everybody I saw there knew exactly what was in each tank.
     
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  18. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Kind of feels like we're all playing an online version of that game we all played as kids in the car, where you see who can go the longest without talking (posting in the NZ forum). Either that or it's just been a slow news fortnight. :p

    Anyway, Wellington Zoo has annoucned the birth of 7 capybara pups to Pepe (frm Auckland Zoo) and Iapa. I believe this is the first birth of this species at Wellington Zoo.
     
  19. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    That's excellent news. I may just go over there on the weekend and see if I can spot them.
     
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  20. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    Cool, if you get a chance; could you please ask what happend to Guara? The press releases mention only Pepe (the father), Iapa (the mother) and Vara (the other female). I'm guessing Guara (the eldest of the three females they had at the start of the year) has either passed away or gone to Auckland Zoo for breeding?