Join our zoo community

West African Animals in Zoos; list a few

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 25 Aug 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,322
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    In some period, for some reason, I found West African fauna very interesting, and consider it very exotic (maybe because of restricted forest area and Ocean down ?). Animals that's only native range is spanning among West African equatorial and Subsaharan countries, to East to the Central African Republic, to South to Cameroon (and no DR Congo - okapi's country), and to the North limited to the Sahel region (except Eastern part). Can you please list animals from this native range that you can remmember, that are kept in zoos (just out from your thoughts).

    I can list:

    -Pygmy hippopotamus (Nigerian subspecies - ever held in a zoo?)
    -Western giant eland
    -Kordofan giraffe
    -Western chimpanzee
    -Diana monkey
    -Senegal parrot
    -Western green mamba
    -Western slender snouted crocodile

    -West African leopard?

    Can you add more (sub)species?
     
    Last edited: 25 Aug 2016
  2. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Dec 2012
    Posts:
    11,624
    Location:
    fijnaart, the netherlands
    2 very intresting species from this region are the both Rock-fowl species, the Yellow-headed and the Red headed Picathartes. Both are however not any more kept in zoos :( .
     
  3. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Aug 2016
    Posts:
    884
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    are wildebeest, topi, and zebu still in zoos?
     
  4. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    914
    Location:
    London, UK
    I saw both species of rock-fowl at Frankfurt Zoo and a white-necked rock fowl at Rotterdam.
    The Paris Menagerie tends to have some interesting West African monkeys.
     
  5. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    1,207
    Location:
    New York
    Wildebeest and zebu are around and topi are extremely rare
     
  6. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    3,778
    Location:
    South Devon
    The zoogeography of West Africa is quite complicated, because the two main blocks of rain forest are separated by the Dahomey Gap in eastern Ghana, Togo and Benin where the Guinea savanna reaches the sea. This band of savanna widened and narrowed as the climate changed during the Ice Ages (the ice only directly affecting higher latitudes). The forests in Liberia and Cameroon acted as refugia in those times and are the richest areas for endemic species.
    Over the years, I have seen most, but not all, of the species listed below in zoos: but that includes the zoos in Abidjan, Accra and Kumasi when I lived in Ghana. But I think that all have been kept in zoos in Europe or America at some time. I have not included species like the Western giant forest hog and the Cross River gorilla, which I don't think have been kept, or more widely distributed species.

    Western colobus
    Green monkey
    Mona monkey & other subspecies
    Putty-nosed monkey
    Lesser spot-nosed monkey
    Sooty & white-crowned mangabey
    Red-crowned mangabey
    Guinea baboon
    Potto
    Angwantibo
    Brush-tailed porcupine (western)
    Cusimanse
    Western bongo
    Maxwell's duiker
    Zebra duiker
    Black duiker
    Royal antelope
    Defassa waterbuck

    A selection of birds would include
    Stone partridge
    African grey parrot
    Brown-necked parrot
    Jardine's parrot
    African ringneck
    Blue-bellied roller
    White crested hornbill
    Bearded barbet
    Gonolek
    Various firefinches, waxbills & sunbirds

    Alan
     
  7. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,322
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    Very interesting description, thank you gentle lemur!
    So you lived in Ghana, what was the life as for an animal lover there? :)
    Now I am realising that zebra duiker is completely West African in origin, I though it is found also in Congo Basin. Royal antelope - interesting.
     
  8. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    5,723
    Location:
    Christmas Island
    Jentink's Duiker & Bates' Pygmy Antelope

    :p

    Hix
     
  9. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    12 Aug 2007
    Posts:
    6,171
    Location:
    Argyllshire
    Not forgetting the West African manatees that are now popping up in Chinese aquaria as well as Japan and S Korea.
     
  10. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2013
    Posts:
    1,116
    Location:
    Baltic Sea
    And West African reptiles, amphibians, fish and invertebrates...

    I've always considered it rather odd that there are, in comparison to the focus on South American and SE-Asian rainforests, only few exhibit complexes in zoos truly dedicated to West (or Central) African rainforests, given that there are quite a bunch of popular species in zoos (great apes, various monkey species, RRH, okapi etc.) and the pet trade (ball python, Achatina achatina, Flower chafers...) already available for such.
     
  11. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    3,778
    Location:
    South Devon
    It was a long time ago now. I did a lot of birdwatching in the area near the small town where I worked and I travelled round the country a little, including a visit to Mole National Park. I have written about the pets that friends of mine kept in this thread http://www.zoochat.com/2/pangolins-potentially-appealing-koalas-pandas-sea-454016/ and posted some photos in the Off Topic Gallery.

    Like Dassie rat and maskota80, I saw both species of Picathartes at Frankfurt (indeed the yellow-headed species was kept in several European collections 40 years ago).
    Anyone who has read Gerald Durrell's first books, The Overloaded Ark and The Bafut Beagles, about his animal collecting trips to the British Cameroons (as it was 70 years ago), will agree with Batto's suggestion. There are indeed many West African species in zoos already, I can add drill, green and violet turacos, rhinoceros and gaboon vipers, the western dwarf crocodile and the dwarf clawed frog Hymenochirus boettgeri to our list.
    But there are also some wonderful species from the Cameroons which would make any ZooChatter's eyes light up - African golden cat, western tree hyrax, Stanger's squirrel, anomalures, kiang's manatees, African chevrotain and three species of pangolin. Add in the hairy frog and the goliath frog plus a huge number of dazzling Aphyosemion and Epiplatys toothcarps, Arnoldichthys tetras and some lovely dwarf cichlids (not just kribs) and there is plenty of potential for aquatic displays too. Surely that sort of exhibit would be worth its place in anyone's fantasy zoo :)

    Alan
     
    Last edited: 26 Aug 2016
  12. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,322
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia
    Populations of rhinoceros viper in West Africa (Guinea to Ghana) are completely separated from those in central Africa and some parts of Eastern Africa,
    also,
    The distinct subspecies Western gaboon viper is separated from other subspecies of this snake in central, Eastern and parts in Southern Africa.
     
  13. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 May 2007
    Posts:
    5,378
    Location:
    Stoke-on-Trent England
    A goliath frog was presneted in a poor condition by the French customs service to Chester Zoo in 2014.

    Despite excellent care and a partial recovery the specimen eventually succumbed to an infection.
     
  14. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    5,723
    Location:
    Christmas Island
    I recently received an email suggesting Ghana was a safe country to visit, which surprised me considering it's neighbours - I thought all of West Africa was a bit of a risk these days. But a few minutes on the internet confirmed it's status and it's just jumped to the top of my bucket list for African countries to visit.

    :p

    Hix
     
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    17,019
    Location:
    omnipresent
    I think Ghana is a big destination for Europeans because it is safe and probably cheap to get to from Europe.
     
  16. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 Sep 2013
    Posts:
    1,116
    Location:
    Baltic Sea
    I can only speak for my family, friends, acquaintances and collegues, but if Europeans visit Africa for touristic reasons, the majority still heads to South Africa, Namibia, Kenya and Tanzania. Ghana is usually part/destination of business trips.
    “Thanks“ to political unrest, terrorism and ecomic reasons, however, the local Baltic beaches seem to be far more attractive these days. Tourists, tourists everywhere! ^^
     
  17. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    3,778
    Location:
    South Devon
    The traditional advice is 'go to East Africa to see animals and to West Africa to meet people'. Ghanaians have a reputation for friendliness and for welcoming visitors that is well deserved. If you're interested in African history and culture, plus nice beaches and opportunities for birdwatching, instead of big game safaris, Ghana is a good choice. Many African-American tourists visit Ghana and other West African nations to learn about their heritage, but Europeans are made very welcome too.

    Alan
     
  18. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Apr 2008
    Posts:
    1,321
    Location:
    Sussex by the Sea
    I've been to about 20 African countries, and would certainly put Ghana up there as one which I have most enjoyed visiting: stunning scenery and wonderful people, and much more user-friendly than, say, Nigeria (most places *are* more user-friendly than Nigeria - which is, nonetheless, also a fantastic place!).
     
  19. lowland anoa

    lowland anoa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Dec 2014
    Posts:
    703
    Location:
    Dunfermline, Scotland, UK
  20. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Feb 2016
    Posts:
    1,322
    Location:
    Prilep, R. Macedonia