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What do zoos do with the bodies of dead animals?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by nanoboy, 17 Apr 2013.

  1. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    A morbid topic no doubt, but I am curious as to what zoos do with the bodies of animals when they die. Bury? Cremate? Turn into food for the carnivores? Send to research facilities?
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    well it depends on the zoo, the country, and the animal species. Most countries have laws about what happens [or doesn't happen, as the case may be] to bodies of zoo animals. Different zoos have different rules about what happens within their own facility as well.
     
  3. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    Birmingham has an on site graveyard
     
  4. Jana

    Jana Well-Known Member

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    It may vary between countries. But in the Czech rep, all dead zoo animals (with some exceptions) have to go through an autopsy and then be disposed to a licensed rendering plant. It is rather rare that some animal corpses are asked by researchers or taxidermists. It is generally prohibited to just go and bury any dead animal.
     
  5. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    What's a rendering plant?
     
  6. tschandler71

    tschandler71 Well-Known Member

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    They make video cards?
     
  7. Ara

    Ara Well-Known Member

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    Stop teasing the (nano)boy!
    A rendering plant boils down flesh, gristle, bones etc. to make products such as fertiliser.

    In Australian natural history museums, many of the exhibits are former zoo animals, and some of them have been there for decades. For example, Adelaide Museum has on exhibit (or did last time I was there) Adelaide zoo's first Asian elephant, who was named "Miss Siam" and who died in 1904.

    Right near her is a Javan rhino which died in 1907 after 21 years at the zoo, during which time it was believed to be an Indian rhino. It wasn't until 1948 that a visiting American professor saw the body and told the authorities that what they had was, ahem, not an Indian but a much rarer Javan. Oops!
     
  8. NAIB Volunteer

    NAIB Volunteer Well-Known Member

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    Highlight species often undergo a necropsy first, then are cremated at the medical facilities. Smaller species, such as fish, reptiles, small mammals, I'm guessing may be thrown into special garbage receptacles depending on local ordinances. They will certainly not be used as feed for other exhibit animals. I often wondered that myself.
     
  9. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Well-Known Member

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    I know some animals (especially iconic individuals) are buried on site, this happened, for example, with Kashin (Elephant) at Auckland Zoo, but there are several other examples too. Obviously this depends on local laws. I'm guessing that in the past many individuals went to museums, but there may be less demand for specimens nowadays. I doubt they get put in the trash (although see: http://www.zoochat.com/38/animal-culling-out-rage-199156/), many are probably destroyed on site, especially smaller species.

    As for them being fed to other animals, I'm not sure. Where an animal is culled there is a chance they may be fed to other animals. At Copenhagen Zoo I saw a whole (dead) llama being fed to the lion pride, and the zoo keeps llamas so it could have been one of their animals. Likewise, I have seen wallaby pieces being fed to tigers at Auckland Zoo, and I'm not sure that it would be likely that these weren't zoo animals.
     
  10. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    Here it is rather common for dead hoofstock to be fed to the larger carnivores....
     
  11. Blackduiker

    Blackduiker Well-Known Member

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    Over the years, several deceased animals from the Los Angeles Zoo have ended up at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History. I learned this several years ago from a museum taxidermist, on a behind the scenes tour of the museum, when my family were annual members.
     
  12. nanoboy

    nanoboy Well-Known Member

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    Yes, on a thread about disposing of dead bodies, some cute pig photos should lighten things up a bit. :D

    (Did anyone actually click on the link? I'm too paranoid to click it.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 8 Feb 2014
  13. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    not me. I reported it as spam just after it was posted. I never trust links on posts like that.
     
  14. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    I guess it's worth mentioning that Frank Buckland used to like eating them. If I recall correctly a black panther died at London Zoo whilst he was away and when he got back a week later he ordered the body dug up so he could eat it. He seemed to have a standing arrangement with the zoo that he could eat any of their animals that died.
     
  15. khakibob

    khakibob Well-Known Member

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    How often have "culled" surplus animals made it to the staff BBQ??

    Blackbuck is particularly good I believe.

    Cheers Khakibob