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Zoo Losses of Tragic Proportion

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by AmbikaFan, 1 Sep 2019.

  1. drill

    drill Well-Known Member

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    The Amazon River dolphin at Duisburg
     
  2. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Can someone explain this to me?
     
  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    The only river dolphin outside of South America is a Zoo Duisburg in Germany. Many European zoo enthusiasts have gone too see this dolphin. Baby is getting old now, and many fear he may go soon.
     
  4. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, but why would people get mad at drill's comment? Is this animal so cherished in Europe that its death would be seen as a tragic loss by many? Does the species still exist in South America?
     
  5. TheGerenuk

    TheGerenuk Well-Known Member

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    It's a recurring reference
     
  6. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    This animal is very, very cherished amongst the European zoo community. I mean, who else keeps river dolphins?

    ~Thylo
     
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  7. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    And hence it's a semi-regular occurrence on Zoochat that someone deliberately tries to word a news post relating to Duisburg in such a way that an initial glance might make people think that Baby has finally died......
     
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  8. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    It's been semi-regular enough that one might think you Europeans would be acclimated to it by now :p

    Los Angeles had to euthanize its entire Nubian ibex herd sometime in the past couple of years due to a highly contagious herpes strain (not sure which one). I don't know how much the zoo staff were personally affected, but on the species level it was a decently-sized hit to that population.

    Another example I can think of is when three or four aye-ayes died suddenly at Duke Lemur Center. That was explicitly said to be a blow to the U.S. breeding program (and also the international one, since the U.S. population is the largest).
     
  9. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    One would hope none of the zoo staff were personally affected by the herpes :p
     
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  10. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Do South American zoos have river dolphins that they could send to Europe? How did Baby come to be there in the first place?
     
  11. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    There are some zoos in South America with them, I think. The only one I can think of is a place I don't know the name of in Venezuela. Duisburg imported 3.2 dolphins from Venezuela in 1975. Most died within the next few years, the second to last in 2006. I don't see any zoos importing any more river dolphins even if it is possible, with all of the politics surrounding cetaceans in captivity.

    ~Thylo
     
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  12. Benosaurus

    Benosaurus Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the source I was looking at stated it was a "young girl" who died, which I took as meaning a child, when, after now reading a different source, it was in actual fact a 22 year old young woman.

    The time between the last human fatality in the US, in 1997, and the decision to test, analyse, and eventually cull the macaques at safari parks in the UK, in the year 2000, doesn't surprise me.
     
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  13. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The other tragic loss that I recall is the anthrax outbreak at Chester Zoo in 1964 which resulted in the deaths of four elephants and a number of small carnivores. It was particularly poignant because the first casualty was 'Sheila', the African elephant cow, who was pregnant with what would have been the first elephant calf born in a British zoo.
    There are more details in this thread Chester Zoo 1964
     
  14. Jake

    Jake Well-Known Member

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    Didn’t that happen in “Outbreak”?
     
  15. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Which zoo was it that had a biosecurity breach in their Partula snail breeding room, causing the deaths of many vitally important snails and the entire extinction of a couple species?

    ~Thylo
     
  16. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    You mention it so casually...
     
  17. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    This is the first I've heard that Sheila was pregnant. An Asian Elephant was stillborn at London Zoo in the 19th century. The mother belonged to 'Lord' George Sanger's Circus, and had been sent to the Zoo to have her calf.
     
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  18. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    I distinctly remember that too, but for some reason I can't find any information on it. I'm pretty sure it was in the UK; I think either London or Bristol.

    The fact that any species extinct in the wild would be limited to a single building at a single facility seem like an accident waiting to happen, honestly... not sure how that ended up being the situation.
     
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  19. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    Another thing that might be worth mentioning is the Cincinnati Zoo, where the world's last passenger pigeon died in 1914, and the world's last Carolina parakeet also died in 1918... in the same cage.
     
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  20. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Yes I remember it being in the UK as well.

    As for the eggs being in one basket, all I can say is sometimes you don't really have a choice. Some of these snail populations have been so small that they all have to be condensed to one zoo. Even as the populations grow, it seems very few zoos are capable to successfully keeping them in the first place, meaning bred stock often has to remain at the collection breeding them. The fact that these animals must be kept in biosecure rooms (they likely can only be kept with other snails as well) will also make it extremely expensive and difficult for zoos to spread them out between buildings. The need for such rooms will surely deter further zoos from taking on the programs. As far as the UK goes, I'm pretty sure only Bristol, Edinburgh, and London keep them, so all populations are pretty condensed. At both London and Bristol, there are windows into the lab where the snails are kept (I'm not sure if they have other rooms aside from these) and in both cases it's simply rows upon rows of tanks filled with groups of snails are several different species. The only time I've ever seen a Partula outside of a biosecure room was in the then Australasia house at Roger Williams back in 2012. To my knowledge the zoo no longer has any snails...

    ~Thylo
     
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