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Wellington Zoo Wellington Zoo News 2018

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

  1. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Last time I was there I didn't see any of the Capybara, but otherwise I'm pretty sure I've always seen all four.
     
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  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I popped into the zoo for a short while this morning.

    The chimpanzee enclosure renovations are coming along very nicely. Lots of new climbing frames and quite a lot of plantings (although not particularly evident in the photos I took). Three new photos in the gallery and also in the dedicated thread for it, along with some comparison photos from previous years. See Wellington Zoo - Chimpanzee Enclosure Redevelopment

    I saw the Capybara babies. They had been off-display for quite a while after being born, so this was the first time I'd seen them. Photos in the gallery (Wellington Zoo | ZooChat).

    The Veiled Chameleon tank now holds (and is labelled for) locusts. I'm not sure what this means for the continued existence of the chameleons. They were obtained as adults (via seizures of smuggled animals) in 2014 and 2016, and chameleons don't have very long lifespans.

    Auckland Zoo made a media release a short while ago about their hatching of Lace Monitors and in it stated that two of the babies had been sent to Wellington Zoo. I'm not sure if this was accurate (i.e. if they have already been sent there, or are going to be sent there) but in any case they are not on display at Wellington so are either still behind the scenes or not yet arrived. I imagine that when they do go on display they will be in one of the tanks in the old Elephant House (where there are Blue-tongued and Shingleback Skinks). [Although it just occurred to me that today I didn't go through the Australian section, where there is an enclosure for Water Dragon; so it's possible that if the monitors are on display they could be in that area...]

    There is a Long-tailed Cuckoo at the zoo's hospital but I didn't see it. (There was a scheduled check-up on it at 11.15am but it was too hot for me to wait around that long).
     
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  3. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    Wellington Zoo has imported two young Dingos from Australia, a five-month-old female named Kiah and a seven-month-old male named Blue.
     
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  4. Jambo

    Jambo Well-Known Member

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    Do you know where they were imported from?
     
  5. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    No, sorry. The last two times the zoo imported Dingos (in 2010 and 2012) they phrased it in press releases as simply "from New South Wales", so presumably from a private breeder or something along those lines. The first pair (in 2008) came from the Australian Dingo Foundation in Victoria.
     
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  6. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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  7. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  8. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I was hopeful that Wellington Zoo would import a male to breed with Sasa when Sean died, but I don't believe Wellington Zoo has a sun bear maternity den (almost essential for successful breeding) so perhaps breeding is not on the cards. It's a shame because Perth Zoo have been advised not to breed because of a lack of space, so their male could have been imported. Many zoos seem to be phasing them out (Adelaide etc.) which is dissapointing. Wellington Zoo have a relatively long and successful history with this species, rearing two of the four sun bears born in Australasia to survive to adulthood (Arataki in 1999 and Sasa in 2006).
     
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  9. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    It was my understanding the the zoos within Australasia phased out brown bears to be replaced with the Sun bear species, so does it now appear even these could also find their way out of collections in the near future!
     
  10. Nisha

    Nisha Well-Known Member

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    If they can't use her, then hopefully they will offer her to the EEP. The European programme has really struggled over the last few years with a lack of births, few collections wanting to go into them and individuals who aren't capable of breeding (rescued ex-pets) etc. But breeding has now resumed (births in two separate collections this year), a new studbook holder is in place and things are looking up. A relatively young, captive bred female with no known issues would be of great assistance if an export could be arranged from New Zealand
     
  11. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I don't doubt Sasa would be an excellent breeding female. She's mother raised and would have a high chance of producing twins. Sasa's mother, Chomel, produced several litters over the years (around half of which were twins). This was attributed to the fact Chomel herself was a twin. Chomel remains the most successful breeding female in the region, and I'd imagine ranks highly world wide for the number of offspring produced (though only three of these survived to weaning, and only two to adulthood).
     
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  12. WhistlingKite24

    WhistlingKite24 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Am I correct in saying that there are eight sun bears in the Australasian region?
    Perth Zoo- 1:1
    National Zoo and Aquarium- 1:1
    Taronga Zoo- 1:1
    Wildlife HQ- 0:1
    Wellington Zoo- 0:1
    Eight individuals seems like such a small population for our main bear species.:(
     
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  13. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    And a non plan in place ..., a real shame they have been put on phase out.

    I could really make use of some strong wording here, but I won't.

    Lest to day ..., I do think in matters S.E. Asian fauna and proximity to that region and potential for both ex situ and in situ collaborative efforts the ZAA has had more than a missed opportunity on their hands here (e.g. Malayan tapir, binturong, various rare felid species, langurs - except for Francois all out ... (I gather, ... so correct me if I am wrong here), not to mention various rare, colorful and fascinating bird, reptile/amphibian and fish and insect taxa added on.
     
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  14. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    That's correct. One of the males (Mr Hobbs at Taronga) has never bred with the females; but the two males at the National Zoo and the Perth Zoo are both part of proven breeding pairs (and indeed each produced one of the last two births in the region in 2008).

    It's a shame Perth Zoo haven't been given permission to breed again. A male cub from this pair would be so valuable to the region as Jamran and Bopha are both wild born and their only relative is their daughter, Maly (2008). A male cub could have been paired with Sasa (2006) or Mary (2008) to create a new breeding pair instead of these two females potentially going to waste. Given bears are generally considered post reproductive by their late teens, I'd almost say it'd be too late to breed a mate for Sasa (aged 12) given that males of this species aren't generally successful at breeding until at least 5-6 years of age (usually older).
     
  15. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    I am all for conservation breeding program and do understand the all the constraints of good husbandry / housing practice and on space, but when it becomes so contrived that breeding recommendations to maintain and develop the population sustainably are not given and/or withheld and the net end result is a bad sex age / ratio pyramid and no long term future perspective ensues and ... then the - and the inevitable final mastered conclusion ... is a phase-out proposal it is a Catch22 self fullfilling prophecy, I cannot help but get the feeling of a a lack of a greater vision for ex situ conservation.

    With sun bears in Australia as well as North America at least it is a dying - literally - and a crying shame. Alas, in all this Europe remains not too ... far behind in this when it comes to sex age / ratio pyramids and the perspective of its total population and future outlook. Allthough, lately ... a new and thankfully more ambitious studbook holder and species manager seems to have woken up to a (possible and future) reality (to avert).
     
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  16. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't agree more. I can only imagine the frustration of people in the industry (especially the zoo keepers caring for these animals) having to wait for 'permission' to breed these animals; without any ability to apply their best judegment or common sense to the situtation. Yes, offspring bred must have somehwere to be accomodated etc. but in some cases the restrictions appear to go too far and yet another species is lost from the region. Let's enjoy Sasa the sun bear while we can.
     
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  17. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    The ZAA (Australasian version) are particularly prone to this idea that they must maintain a sustainable population within the confines of the limited number of spaces within Australian and NZ zoos. Unless they are small species that can be easily maintained in large groups in captivity, or half-captive managed by regular releases into the 'wild', it will never work. How many individuals would ZAA zoos need to keep to maintain sun bears sustainably? And that is for one bear species which are actually popular with the paying visitors. Madness and doomed to failure. Australasian zoos should be able to manage keeping more than a handful of sun bears (alongside a couple of polars and pandas).
    Don't get me wrong I agree that it is important that we maintain self-sustaining captive populations, not reliant on regular 'topping up' from wild sources. But I feel that this is only logical on a global stage, particularly for the very large species.
     
  18. Zorro

    Zorro Well-Known Member

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    You have hit the nail on the head here this is one of the major problems within our zoos in our region with few zoos holding few animals of any one (large) species, It almost appears to be a blind spot for the ZAA, So many species of the larger animals have just faded/phased out because of a little founder base to start with.