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Zoo Losses of Tragic Proportion

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

  1. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Water quality is everything in an aquarium. I had an on-site lesson once (at a different aquarium), and it's mind-boggling. They try to have backup generators and recovery systems, but there's just nothing to be done about a sudden catastrophic failure except move the animals if possible. I'm so sorry to hear of this,
     
  2. ThatOneZooGuy

    ThatOneZooGuy Well-Known Member

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    I think one notable tragedy, or series of tragedies is at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo last year. If I recall correctly, within a very short span of time, the zoo lost a young Giraffe calf, and shortly thereafter, a huge hail storm struck causing the deaths of several ducks, vultures, and a young meerkat as well. On top of this a lot of property damage was caused by the hail storm. Overall really sad to hear about, but luckily the zoo has recovered pretty well.
     
  3. MonkeyBat

    MonkeyBat Well-Known Member

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    1996 - Philadelphia Zoo - World of Primates

    A fire killed 26 primates in total. This included 6 gorillas, 2 orangutans, 4 white handed gibbons and 10 lemurs. (Didn't specify species) One of the victims was an 11-month old baby gorilla named Maandazi
     
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  4. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    I wonder why anyone would name a Gorilla after deep-fried dough balls....
     
  5. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    A tradedy also hit Apenheul in the Netherlands in 1981. 2 of the night-enclosures of the Tamarins, Marmosets and Spider monkeys took fire and 3 Spider monkeys and about 90 Marmosets and Tamarins were killed.. :(.
     
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  6. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

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    Probably the darkest day in the history of all Czech zoos and still many people don't know about this.
     
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  7. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    How awful and strange. If there was medical reason--and hoof-and-mouth-disease would be a serious one--why not just say so? Why all the intrigue? What do the conspiracy theorist say?
     
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  8. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    Despite our contacts with your country, I did not know this!
    Was it just Giraffes? D-K will have had many other spp on site which were susceptible to, and at risk from, FMD.
     
  9. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    The novel mentioned in this article is pretty good. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it certainly has literary merit, and is - appropriately - Kafkaesque in its overall tone.
     
  10. HOMIN96

    HOMIN96 Well-Known Member

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    The Communist regime here was in general very authoritative and shady, especially after 1968. The other significant theory (and pretty much the only one I heard) is that this was done as a punishment for Dr. Vagner's political opinions, as he publicly spoke out against Soviet occupation.

    As I said, it wasn't well known even here until very recently, the book mentioned did help. It was also briefly mentioned in some documents about Vagner.

    Yes it was giraffes only. It is even more suspicious when you consider that at that time, at the peak of Vagner's imports, the species diversity was even bigger, thus all the other theories.
     
  11. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Given the fact that one of the three herds which were shot were Masai, a species now lost in European collections, one has to seriously wonder whether the taxon would still be around now had this not happened..... :(

    If I recall correctly, we're talking 15 Masai, 18 Reticulated and 30 Rothschild's - so a genuinely jaw-dropping number of animals were destroyed, even though it was restricted to giraffes......
     
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  12. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    I guess we can now also place Krefeld in this thread :(.
     
  13. Elephantelephant

    Elephantelephant Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately yes.:(:(:(
     
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  14. Imperator Furiosa

    Imperator Furiosa Well-Known Member

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    In 2019 the Henry Vilas Zoo lost all but one of their prairie dogs due to extreme weather related to the Polar Vortex.
     
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  15. Arek

    Arek Well-Known Member

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    12th December, 2012 - Amphibian House in Opole Zoo
    Night fire killed about 300 amphibians and some reptiles of 25 species. Only those amphibians that hid in the water survived (several newts and axolotls). This collection was built for ten years.
     
  16. Arek

    Arek Well-Known Member

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    Another tragic event in Opole Zoo - 10th July, 1997 . So-called „flood of the millennium” flooded the whole zoo. Zoo is located on an island on Odra river. There was no time to evacuate and many animals drowned (among others lion, tiger, bear, many hoofed mammals, even hippo). Monkeys survived on the roof of their house. Zoo was completely destroyed and remained closed throughout the year.
     
  17. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    An somewhat older tragic event hit Rotterdam Zoo in 1964 - 1965.
    Because the breeding of Oran utans was at that time a very uncommon event - which was no wonder because the few animals which reached breeding-age in captivity were brought in as little traumatic baby's from which the mother was killed and hand-raised - the Rotterdam Zoo came with the idea to bring in some wild-caught adult animals and to try to breed with them.
    In 1949 2 pairs of adult Sumatran oran utan-pairs were brought to the zoo - with permision from Indonesia - and the idea that healthy adult animals would breed well in captivity proofed already soon to be true.
    Already in 1951 the first young was born - a male - and the same female gave birth to a further 5 young.
    The other pair was also quite succesfull and produced 3 young.
    The first young of the first pair - a male - and the first young of the second pair - a female - were paired to eachother and produced the first second generation young at Rotterdam : Tom was born in 1963.
    Sofar a real succes-story. Then Blijdorp bought 2 Giant anteaters from a Belgium dealer and because the zoo didn't have a decent quarantaine-building at that time ( 1964 ) the 2 animals were housed in the Ape-house. After a week the Giant anteaters showed some blisters around their mouths but it was tought that that was not a real problem. A week later however a baby Oran utan showed also blisters around its mouth and then it went quick. One after the other Orangs got sick and 6 of the died ( the baby, Tom - the first second generation orang, a semi adult animal, both of Toms parents and Toms grand-dad ). Also the Gorilla's got realy sick but recovered and the Chimps also showed signs of the disease but also recovered completly.
    Later it was found-out that the Giant anteaters had shared a shed in Belgium with a group of Rhesus monkey's which were wild-caught in India and these had Monkey-pox, a disease which didn't effect the rhesus monkey's at all. For apes these pox however proofed to be very dangerous and destroyed the breeding-group of Oran utans at Blijdorp.
    With the help of other zoos later a new group could be formed and Oran utans were bred again untill Blijdorp stopped keeping the species in 1982.
     
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  18. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    Monkey pox and horse pix are both closely related to cowpox, which would have been around for more than a century by the time this happened. The virus is zoonotic, first seen on the blistered hands of dairymaids milking cows who were infected. It's hard to believe the zoo could have been so uninformed not to recognize the telltale blisters, or pox. This terrible loss should have been prevented.

    The vaccine against the even-more-lethal smallpox in the early 1800s largely eradicated it by 1980, but cowpox is still very much alive. Pedro, the giant anteater at Chester Zoo contracted cowpox, and the story was shown on Secret Life of the Zoo. The first symptom was not eating, because the lesions make it too painful. The severity of this illness in Pedro wasn't fully known until an endoscopy revealed widespread lesions on his very long tongue, mouth, and down his throat, and he was euthanized soon after.

    I find it possible to see how the majority of the blisters would be hidden in an anteater, but it's inexplicable how a medical team could react so nonchalantly to clear cowpox symptoms in orangutans in whom it would be much less hidden. I find this so shocking because "the pox" had been known to be passed from humans to animals and back and forth for well over a century; being so nonchalant was simply irresponsible for such a deadly disease. There's no excuse for minimizing the severity of any of the pox viruses, or any zoonotic disease, for that matter.
     
  19. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget that this all happened in a time that zoo-medicine was at a much lower level then today. Also the fact that the Rhesus monkey's in Belgium didn't have much problems with the disease, made the vet think this was not a dangerous issue for other monkey's / apes and it even wasn't know apes could get this disease and it was not directly clear they had to deal with monkey-pox. Some Squirrel monkey's and a gibbon died also during this out-break but Spider monkey's , Capuchins and Guenons which were housed also in the same building didn't get the disease at all or were only little effected,
    Evenso a very sad story from which it was learned how important good quarantaines are !
     
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  20. Andrew Swales

    Andrew Swales Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed. Both of the above posts make very good points. Pox has been well know for many years, and the zoo would certainly have known about it at the time of this outbreak. VC is right, the milk-maid example shows how CowPox was accepted in humans as an occupational hazard and was not regarded as serious let alone deadly. Given this and the lack of signs or even disease in Old World monkeys, and indeed the Capuchins, its severity in other New World primates, apes and edentates would not have been suspected. CowPox remains an issue today, with all modern knowledge and quarantine; possibly even more of a problem due to modern housing methods. Any open grassy enclosures which might attract Bank or Field Voles (the main rodent carriers in Europe, at least) are at risk; and this is of course is the way animals are housed in modern zoos. Presumably the concrete, barred zoo cages of yesterday would not have attracted Voles in the same way.
     
    Last edited: 20 Feb 2020