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Why are many animals keppt indoors at night ?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by GiratinaIsGod, 2 May 2020.

  1. GiratinaIsGod

    GiratinaIsGod Well-Known Member

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    I understand that many animals, like water fowl for example have to be kept indoors for safty reasons, but I never understood why espically nocturnal/crepuscular animals like cats are not keept outside at night (if the climate and weather allow it, of corse). It would support the natural behavior of the animals, espically since they are undistrubed by visitors. But why is that for most species not done. Safety reasons is a terrible argument, since if they had the possibility to escape, they could do it not only at night, which obvious would be much worse. And for the safety of the animals makes no sense either, since these species are adapted to the night life, and would have no problem of preciving there surroundings. Why are animals like felines, canids, hyenas, many lemurs or bears in most facilites allways keept inside, in smaller enclosures at night ? It time they would be the most active. I need answers.
     

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  2. Clem

    Clem Well-Known Member

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    This is obviously for safety reason. It doesn't mean that their exhibits aren't as safe during the night that during the day, but the ability of responding to an escape isn't the same.
     
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  3. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    There is also the risk of some animals being killed by local predators and of some people getting into the zoo for nefarious purposes, such as cutting horns off rhinos.
     
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  4. HungarianBison

    HungarianBison Well-Known Member

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    I don't know. Perhaps it's an old, meaningless tradition, that isn't changed by zoos.
     
  5. GiratinaIsGod

    GiratinaIsGod Well-Known Member

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    I know, that local wild life can be a danger, thisis why I talked exactly about bigger animals like big cats and cannids, who are NOT in danger of local wild life. The animals most in danger of poaching (sadly) like rhinos and elephants again are not nocturnal. They are not the animals I argue for. I know for example that polar bears are and more commen also kept at night outisde. Which is the reason, why Iam arguing about it.
     
  6. GiratinaIsGod

    GiratinaIsGod Well-Known Member

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    The problem is that a well designed exhibit for espically these animals should escape proof, if not a event like storms effect the area (again, I espically said that in these more dangerous situations, that they should be keept inside. I heared of multible insituitons, who allready started to let there polar bears outside for the whole year. There enclosure are obviously so designed that escape for these EXTREM dangerous animals is imposibble. Older, outdated enclosures, who are not able to provide this, should be replaced by safeer alternatives.
     
  7. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    It works both ways. If a big cat escapes the zoo during the night, it is much more difficult to find it and though there will be less risk to human life during the day, it will be very hard to track it down in the morning. A cat could travel tens of kilometres during the night, in any direction.
    In addition, big cats are also in danger from poaching. It is also all very well to say that bear should have new enclosures, after all that is what we all we want, isn't it? But zoos do not have that much money to spend. Revenue is almost immediately spent on food, salaries and other associated costs. There will always be enclosures that are out of date or too small in a zoo, and often zoos won't have the money to plug the holes that appear as years go by. We all want new exhibits, we all want animals tin zoos to be happy in state-of-the-art exhibits, but that is not possible a lot of the time.
    Also, if something happens at the zoo - a birth or an escape for example, the keepers will find it much easier to contain the crisis if all the animals are inside their indoor accommodation. If a red panda is giving birth in an indoor area, the keepers can quickly access it if something goes wrong. However, if they are outside, it is very hard to access a nest box in the trees in the darkness. Lastly, animals with poor eyesight could walk into barriers such as electric fences during the night.
     
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  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    There are, of course, plenty of zoos which allow their animals to come and go at night during the more clement months of the year.
     
  9. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    As TLD alludes there is a perfectly logical reason why say lemurs whould be shut in at night in a country like Germany where is might be -20 c in the winter...
    Many large carnivores have to be kept confined at night for legal reasons because it is a condition of the zoos licence that this must be done, however illogical it is to effectively say that a fence is safe in the day-time, but not at night... the only logical defence as stated above must be not the enclosure itself, but the ability to deal with a problem.
    Having said that, 'shut in' and its ethical limitations will vary greatly depending on the enclosure design. Sometimes off show 'night' accommodation is squalid because all the funds have been spent on what the public sees outdoors. If the off-show and holding accommodation is adequate then there is no welfare reason to not bring the animals into it at night, and that routine can (and does in some instances) have huge benefits for animal management.
     
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  10. LowlandGorilla4

    LowlandGorilla4 Well-Known Member

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    It goes both ways, to protect native wildlife to. Deer can be fairly active at night especially when their near a big loud daytime attraction (like a zoo). A while ago a white tail deer jumped into the lion grotto at the national zoo. If this happened at night when the cats are (presumably) inside the native deer would not have had to been killed. I agree that if this is to continue we need to step up the indoor housing areas and make them much larger.
     
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  11. Bubalus

    Bubalus Well-Known Member

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    There are a few reasons why this might take place. Obviously for a start, temperatures. On the whole there are recommended guidelines for a fair few species which come from the husbandry manuals. This is open to interpretation for some zoos based on location, wind variables etc. Another is weather. High wind speeds might dictate animals being brought in, even during warmer months, due to trees coming down which could cause a number of issues. Injured animals or even a handy escape route. As mentioned earlier in the thread, the enclosures are not safer during the day over night, but a situation can be managed a lot more efficiently during the day with all keepers and a firearms team present compared to 3am in the morning. Other anomalies may include births, if you have an animal due to birth, say a giraffe or rhino for example, to be able to monitor the birth and calf well, it would pay to keep them inside to monitor closely in person or externally through CCTV. I have heard too many stories of a calf from X species lost after birth after dam giving birth in the farthest away point of the paddock from the house in the middle of the night and then leaving the calf to return to the house.
    Overall more and more species I have found in my experience are being allowed 24hr access when variables fit accordingly, especially with cats. The cats I work with are allowed 24hr access out throughout the year even during cooler months
     
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  12. GiratinaIsGod

    GiratinaIsGod Well-Known Member

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    I 100% agree that pragnent animals should be keept inside, days, up to weeks inside whilep pragnant, and when the young a smal. The argument was about everyday situitions.
     
  13. GiratinaIsGod

    GiratinaIsGod Well-Known Member

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    well obviously do I not mean that animals from tropical regions should be keept outiside in winter. For example my local zoo, the NaturZoo Rheine keeps there ring tails outiside at night.
     
  14. GiratinaIsGod

    GiratinaIsGod Well-Known Member

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    I argued mostly for either species who life in colder regions, like amur tigers and polarbears who would have no problem with colder tempratures (they should obvious still have acces to an warmer inside enclosure, they just should have to abbility to acces their outside yards). Or the species should only have acces to the outside in warmer months of the year. And be keept inside for safety reasons. I even said in my orginal comment that problems corsed by weather should not be ignored and the animals keepts inside for that (which has nothing to do with the argument, since they should also be keept inside in similar conditions). You are right, that did not mentioned that female animals should before birth be keept inside. But that again has not much with my argument to do, since this is a specific situation. Which should be treated accordingly.

    I agree that many situations don't allow this modern praxis to be used, espically in older enclosres.
    But it is a goal that modern animal husbandary should if possible creat the best possible situation for the animals. And it is allways good to hear that more and more institutions use this model :D
     
  15. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

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    Also depends entirely on the species. I don't think locking up a pregnant camel in its stable for days until birth is a good idea - unless the stable is really huge.

    The few zoos I know well give the majority of their collection, including felines, hyenas and bears, access to the entire enclosure at night, given that the weather allows it.
     
  16. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  17. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Here's some incidents that have happened at night, from just the first two pages of a google search:

    2020 - Sedgewick County Zoo, roof of Tropics habitat was damaged, plus restaurant and storage area, by vandals. They didn't get into any animal areas and security caught them.
    2019 - Santa Ana Zoo, teen breaks in and steals a ring-tailed lemur. Several lemurs and capuchins escaped through the hole he cut. The animals were all caught, and the teen left the lemur at a hotel (with a note about where it came from, because there's so many lemurs around...?)
    2019 - Wright Park Zoo, an adult capuchin is beaten while trying to protect his son from being stolen. The younger one was found outside of town.
    2017 - Thoiry Zoo in France, poachers kill a white rhino and steal his horn.
    2016 - London Zoo, teens break in and record themselves in different enclosures, petting animals and getting bit by a llama. They were chased out by security before getting to any of the cats.
    2016 - Baton Rouge Zoo, three spot-nosed guenons are killed by dogs who got through a fence.
    2012 - Zoo Boise, a patas monkey was beaten to death by an intruder. A security guard scared off the two intruders before they could do more damage, but the guard didn't know about the monkey until it was discovered the next morning.
    2012 - Belfast Zoo, some ponies are let out of their enclosure.
    2011 - Lincoln Park Zoo, someone broke into the basement of the lion house and stole $3,500 worth of equipment. Thankfully they weren't interested in the animals.
    2010 - Albuquerque BioPark, 8 college kids break in and take photos of themselves going under and over fences, into enclosures, and petting and feeding animals. Animals included giraffes, sea lions, and rhinos, among others.
    2007 - Ellen Trout Zoo, 5 blackbuck are killed by a dog (or dogs) who dug under the fence. They all had bite marks, but they were non-lethal; they were most likely killed from trauma from running into fences trying to escape.
    2004 - Adelaide Zoo, a man breaks in at night and steals a squirrel monkey. He's caught the next day, with no harm to the monkey.
    2002 - Dresden Zoo, someone breaks in and lets out a cheetah. She kills 10 kangaroos.
    2002 - Adelaide Zoo, someone kills 16 guinea pigs and steals several more.
    1999 - SeaWorld, a man stays in he park after closing and climbs into one of the orca pools. He is found dead the next morning.
    1987 - Prospect Park Zoo, young children break in and an 11-year-old is killed after climbing into the polar bear exhibit to swim in their moat. One child escaped and a third never went in. Both bears are killed by police, who arrive after someone calls 911 because they heard the screaming from the zoo.
    1985 - Adelaide Zoo, 64 animals were killed, either beaten or having their throats slit. Most were in the children's zoo - sheep, goats, rabbits, guinea pigs, an antelope, a llama, and 8 baby kangaroos, plus 3 rhea and an alligator.

    In several of these incidents, the perpetrators gave some indication that their goal was to get to big cats but they were prevented in some way (security, animals being inside, etc.) No zoo wants to deal with the media attention, the trauma, and the possible death of their animal(s) if someone manages to get into a large predator exhibit.
     
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  18. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    According to an article by National Geographic, between 2011 and 2017, 400 animals were known to have been stolen from european zoos. Most are are animals kept outdoors or in exhibits that don't have as much security as a large carnivore would have. Thieves Are Breaking Into Zoos and Stealing Rare Animals
     
  19. Echobeast

    Echobeast Well-Known Member

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    I you answered some of your question here.

    All in all, it is about risk vs. reward. Is the reward of leaving an animal out at night whether given access to an indoor space or not worth the risk of possible escape, injury, vandalism, or any other incident when there is not a significant portion of staff on grounds? Many zoos only have security personnel on grounds at night and keepers and vets are not there in case something goes wrong.

    Another thing to note is there are plenty of places that do let big cats, bears, and other animals out at night depending on multiple factors. Something my home zoo of Cheyenne Mountain has to deal with is wild mountain lions that come near or on grounds usually during the night or early morning. They are a threat to hoofstock as well as other big cats which they could encounter and perceive as a threat. That doesn't mean those animals never go out at night. In fact both hoofstock and cats do get access frequently at night.
     
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  20. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    My two local zoos in Tucson, Arizona, now allow several animals to stay out overnight. In fact some newer exhibits don't even have a night house (Vulture Culture at ASDM for example). Years ago this was not the case.