International Zoo News Vol. 50/4 (No. 325)         June 2003

 

                                   CONTENTS

 

EDITORIAL

 

FEATURE ARTICLES

 

Early Experience of Sexual                Paul A. Rees

Behaviour in Asian Elephants

 

Towards an Archaeology of Zoos            Cornelius Holtorf and David Van Reybrouck

 

Some Notes on Restraint Box               Farshid Mehrdadfar, Joe Shuler and Ken McCaffree

Design for Okapi

 

The Zoos of the Isle of Wight             John Tuson

 

Letters to the Editor

 

Book Reviews

 

Conservation

 

Miscellany

 

Annual Reports

 

International Zoo News

 

Recent Articles

 

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EDITORIAL

 

Almost everyone must be familiar with the proposition that, given enough time, a monkey randomly typing would produce the complete works of Shakespeare. (In an internet search, I found over 5,000 websites containing the words `monkey', `typewriter' and `Shakespeare'!) The idea – which goes back at least to the biologist Julian Huxley (1887–1975) and possibly even to his grandfather T.H. Huxley (1825–1895) – was originally used to support the case for the evolution of life on earth, by indicating that any structure, however complex, can be built up by a sufficiently long series of random changes.

 

Paignton Zoo was recently the scene for what press reports rather misleadingly described as an `experiment to test' this theory. Lecturers and students from Plymouth University installed a computer in the enclosure of the zoo's six Sulawesi macaques. Predictably, the monkeys did not systematically apply themselves to typing; they sat on the computer, chewed it, bashed it with stones, excreted on it, and after a month had produced only five pages of text mostly consisting of the letter S, with smaller numbers of A, J, L and M.

 

From the viewpoint of serious science, the `experiment' was obviously irrelevant; indeed, I'm not sure what, if anything, the university team were hoping to prove. One report described the project as `performance art', and indeed it received some funding from Britain's Arts Council. No doubt visitors to the zoo derived some entertainment from the exercise; but the reports I have seen do not mention whether the zoo used it to drive home any serious message. If not, an educational opportunity was missed.

 

A four-week trial is, of course, totally irrelevant in the context of what is best described as a `thought experiment' in mathematical probability theory. But the original proposition can be used as the jumping-off point for a lesson on evolution. It was so used by Richard Dawkins in Chapter 3 of his book The Blind Watchmaker (Longman, 1986). Dawkins starts by taking, not Shakespeare's complete works, but a six-word, 28-character phrase from Hamlet, and calculates the probability of producing that phrase by a series of random hits on a keyboard (limited, for simplicity's sake, to just 26 letters and a space bar). The required phrase is just one out of 2728 possible 28-character phrases; so there is a one in 2728 (or approximately 1:1040) chance of the monkey getting it right first time. My own calculation, assuming that the monkey works continuously and takes just 15 seconds to type 28 characters, suggests that he could take up to 533 years to produce that six-word phrase, let alone the Bard's complete works. Calculations of this kind have been seized on by creationists, who ridicule scientists' belief that a similar process has given rise to all the earth's biodiversity in a mere 4 ´ 109 years or so. But of course the process isn't really similar at all. As Dawkins points out, the crucial difference is that whereas for the typing monkey every successive keystroke is as random as the preceding ones, evolutionary change is cumulative – each step builds on all the steps that have gone before. This vastly reduces the time needed to construct a complex pattern. With creationism still alarmingly prevalent even in educated Western societies, it would be a pity for zoos to miss any opportunity of publicizing the scientific view of how life developed on earth.

 

Nicholas Gould

 

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EARLY EXPERIENCE OF SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR IN ASIAN ELEPHANTS

 

BY PAUL A. REES

 

Introduction

 

Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are facing global extinction in zoos (Rees, 2003) and it is therefore imperative that calves born into the population are sexually competent. In their recent review of zoo elephant welfare Clubb and Mason (2002) point out that some bulls never develop normal sexual behaviour. Nevertheless, they recommend that females calves should be kept with their mothers for all of their lives and that bulls should not leave their mothers until the natural age of dispersal in the wild, between the ages of 10 and 15 years. There is some evidence that sexual behaviour develops early in Asian elephants and it may, therefore, be important to expose potential mates to each other (or to other individuals of the opposite sex) at an early age. Calves kept with their mothers for an extended period will be deprived of early interactions with calves of the opposite sex if none are present within the natal group. As Clubb and Mason suggest, it may be important to keep calves with their mothers for an extended period for welfare reasons. But it may be more important to keep them in social groups that contain reproductively active adults and unrelated calves of both sexes.

 

Methods

 

The observations presented here were made during a detailed study of the behaviour of a herd of Asian elephants held by the North of England Zoological Society at Chester Zoo. Some of the results of this study have already been reported (Rees, 2000, 2001a, 2002, in review).

 

The history and composition of this herd has been described elsewhere (Rees, 2001b). At the time these observations were made it consisted of five adult cows (Thi, Sheba, Maya, Kumara and Jangoli), an adult bull (Chang), a juvenile bull (Upali) and a cow calf (Sithami). During the study two bull calves were born (Po-Chin and Assam).

 

Observations of the herd in their outdoor enclosure were made on over 100 days from January 1999 to the end of June 2001. Ad libitum direct observations of sexual behaviour were made during the day between approximately 10.00 and 16.00 hours when the elephants were in their outdoor enclosure. Additional observations were made of newborn calves inside the elephant house, including observations of Po-Chin on 11 days during the first month after birth.

 

Observations

 

Early manifestation of sexual behaviour or an interest in such behaviour in others may take a number of forms within a herd environment:

– Young bull calves exhibiting interest in the urine and faeces of adult cows;

– Penile erections in bull calves;

– Calves exhibiting courtship behaviour, culminating in mounting;

– Presence of calves during adult courtship, mating and during the `mating pandemonium'.

 

Testing urine and faeces

 

Chemical signals from the adult cow are important in the sexual behaviour of Asian elephants (Rasmussen and Schulte, 1998). Adult bulls test samples of urine and faeces using the Jacobson's organ, a specialised gland located in the roof of the mouth.

 

Bull calves show interest in elephant dung and urine from a very early age (Table 1). Po-Chin was observed lying prone on the floor of the elephant house sniffing the urine of an adult cow at the age of just 40 hours (photo, below). He was observed eating dung at the age of 13 days, but may have done so earlier. When better able to co-ordinate trunk and foot, a young bull calf will break open and test the dung of cows in a similar fashion to an adult bull (photo, p. 202, top).

 

Penile erection

 

Upali was observed mounting with an erect penis for the first time when aged 4.5 years. However, bulls are able to achieve penile erections at a very early age. Assam was observed with an erection when just four days old, while suckling from Thi. This was clearly not a sexual response and may have been the result of frustration at being unable to locate the nipple immediately.

 

Juvenile mating

 

The first juvenile mounting behaviour observed during this study occurred when Sithami was 12.5 months old and Upali was 4 years 2 months old. However, keepers had observed this behaviour before the beginning of the study (M. Jones, pers. comm.).

 

The herd was observed for 232 hours on 45 days over a period of approximately 10 months from mid-January to early November 1999, when Upali was between 4.2 and 5.0 years old and Sithami was between 1.1 and 1.8 years old. During this period Upali mounted or attempted to mount Sithami on 102 occasions, and an adult cow twice. Sexual behaviour of the adults clearly stimulated sexual behaviour in the calves and on occasions Upali mounted Sithami within seconds of Chang mounting an adult cow. Table 2 illustrates sexual activity observed on 17 May 1999 when Chang mounted Sheba three times and Upali mounted Sithami 10 times. Detailed results of a study of the effects of adult sexual behaviour on juvenile sexual behaviour will be reported elsewhere (Rees, in review).

 

Presence during adult mating

 

Young calves raised with breeding adults may be exposed to adult sexual behaviour when they are very young simply because they remain close to their mothers and allomothers (`aunties'). If an adult bull is given access to a mother when her calf is very young, this may expose the calf to adult sexual behaviour at a very early age. Po-Chin was first exposed to adult sexual behaviour at the age of 15 days. Chang kicked Po-Chin out of his way as he courted Sheba (the primary allomother), but the calf was, nevertheless, very close to her hind legs when Chang eventually mounted her.

 

Mating in elephants is often (but not always) accompanied by a `mating pandemonium' in which many members of the herd participate. Such ceremonies have been described from the wild (Moss, 1988) and consist of the herd gathering around the mating couple in a state of enhanced excitement which involves vocalisations, urination and defecation. Often the calves followed the courting adults so closely that they had to be pushed out of the way by the adult bull. During attempted or actual intromission Sithami was observed sniffing and touching the genital areas of the adults involved.

 

Table 1. Early sexual experience of a bull Asian elephant (Po-Chin).

 

Age (days)  Behaviour

0          Born within cow herd

1           Observed testing adult cow urine aged 40 hours

13          Observed eating faeces of another elephant

15          Introduced to Chang (father)

            Very near adults during courtship and mating

            Present as juveniles play-mount

17          Near adults during courtship and mating

            Present as juveniles play-mount

            Observed eating mother's faeces

 

Table 2. Juvenile sexual activity stimulated by adult sexual activity (17 May 1999).

 

Time of adult sexual activity Time of juvenile sexual behaviour

(Chang mounts Sheba)          (Upali mounts Sithami)*

09.42

10.52                   10.52

                        10.58

                        11.01

                        11.04

                        11.25

                        11.37

                        11.38

                        11.46

                        11.48

                        11.59

13.31

* Upali aged 4.5 years, Sithami aged 1 year 5 months.

 

Discussion

 

The observations presented here demonstrate that young calves may be exposed to adult sexual behaviour from an early age if kept in a social group containing sexually active adults. The basic elements of sexual behaviour appear to be present in bulls from a very early age, and calves appear to mimic the behaviour of copulating adults when both sexes are kept together. Calves show an interest in courtship and mating in adults when they are just a few days old and may be present during a mating pandemonium when the opportunity arises.

 

Early social isolation has been shown to have deleterious effects upon courtship and copulatory behaviour in mammalian species as diverse as chimpanzees (Rogers and Davenport, 1969) and rats (Gruedel and Arnold, 1969). The sexual behaviour of male mammals is particularly sensitive to variations in early social experience (Estep and Dewsbury, 1996). In some species, males show an enhancement of sexual performance if they watch other males mount females prior to their own mating.

 

It is impossible to say from the observations presented here whether or not early sexual experience is important to the proper development of sexual behaviour in Asian elephants. However, it is clear that young calves respond in a variety of positive ways when exposed to adult sexual behaviour and to other calves of the opposite sex. Calves kept only with adult females or in single-sex groups are deprived of these experiences, and it is possible that such deprivation could have an adverse effect on their social and sexual development, as it does in other mammals. Chester Zoo is one of a very few zoos in the world where calves of both sexes are kept with breeding adults.

 

Acknowledgements

These observations could not have been made without the co-operation of the staff of Chester Zoo. In particular, Mick Jones (Head of the Elephant Section) kindly gave me access to the Elephant House during periods when the elephants were off-show.

 

References

Clubb, R., and Mason, G. (2002): A Review of the Welfare of Zoo Elephants in Europe: a Report Commissioned by the RSPCA. Animal Behaviour Research Group, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford.

Estep, D.Q., and Dewsbury, D.A. (1996): Mammalian reproductive behaviour. In Wild Mammals in Captivity: Principles and Techniques (eds. D. G. Kleiman, M.E. Allen, K.V. Thompson and S. Lumpkin), pp. 379–389. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

Gruendel, A.D., and Arnold, W.J. (1969): Effects of early isolation on reproductive behaviour of male rats. Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology 67: 123–128.

Moss, C.J. (1988): Elephant Memories. Elm Tree Books, London.

Rasmussen, L.E.L., and Schulte, B.A. (1998): Chemical signals in the reproduction of Asian (Elephas maximus) and African (Loxodonta africana) elephants. Animal Reproduction Science 53 (No. 1–4): 19–34.

Rees, P.A. (2000): The introduction of a captive herd of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) to a novel area. Ratel 27 (4): 120–126.

Rees, P.A. (2001a): Captive breeding of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): the importance of producing socially competent animals. In Trends in Wildlife Biodiversity, Conservation and Management (eds. B.B. Hosetti and M. Venkateshwarlu), Vol. 1, pp. 76–91. Daya Publishing House, Delhi.

Rees, P.A. (2001b): The history of the National Elephant Centre, Chester Zoo. International Zoo News 48 (3): 170–183.

Rees, P.A. (2002): Asian elephants dust bathe in response to an increase in environmental temperature. Journal of Thermal Biology 27: 353–358.

Rees, P.A. (2003): Asian elephants in zoos face global extinction: should zoos accept the inevitable? Oryx 37 (1): 20–22.

Rees, P.A. (in review): Some preliminary evidence of the social facilitation of mounting behaviour in a juvenile bull Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.

Rogers, C.M., and Davenport, R.K. (1969): The effects of restricted rearing on sexual behaviour of chimpanzees. Developmental Psychology 1: 200–204.

 

Dr Paul A. Rees, School of Environment and Life Sciences, University of Salford, Salford M6 6PU, U.K. (E-mail: p.a.rees@salford.ac.uk)

 

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TOWARDS AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF ZOOS

 

BY CORNELIUS HOLTORF AND DAVID VAN REYBROUCK

 

Since Bob Mullan and Garry Marvin's classic study Zoo Culture (1987), research within the humanities and social sciences has been increasing steadily about both the history of keeping exotic animals and various socio-cultural aspects of zoos as phenomena of the modern world. The latest books are Eric Baratay and Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier's comprehensive volume Zoo: A History of Zoological Gardens in the West (English translation 2002), Jeff Hyson's Urban Jungles: Zoos and American Society (2002), Elizabeth Hanson's Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos (2002) and Nigel Rothfels's Savages and Beasts: the Birth of the Modern Zoo (2002). The now emerging field of `zoo studies' lies at the interface of various disciplines in the humanities and social sciences including history, sociology, human geography and cultural studies. Now archaeologists too are making their contribution (Holtorf, 2000; O'Regan, 2002). Since 2001, the British Academy has been supporting an international network project of eight young archaeologists, historians and a philosopher who are working on zoos from an archaeological perspective. The project involves a series of four workshops and associated joint zoo visits, the organisation of three sessions at international conferences, and a collective publication at the end.

 

As archaeologists we are, however, not particularly interested in the beginnings and history of early zoos which we could try to excavate (cf. O'Regan, 2002). Nor do we particularly care about locating and preserving any archaeological sites on zoo grounds against the interests of the zoo concerned. Instead we want to make an innovative and challenging contribution to contemporary zoo studies by building on the rich tradition of methods, approaches and themes that have been developed within the flourishing discourse of contemporary archaeology. As archaeological work is mostly cross-disciplinary, our project is too – in addition to archaeological expertise, project members have backgrounds in history, anthropology and philosophy (see Margodt, 2000; Åkerberg, 1999; Åkerberg, 2001).

 

There are a number of distinctively (though not exclusively) archaeological approaches, methods and themes which we want to make fruitful for studying zoos.

 

The archaeological approach

 

We are investigating zoos as material places inhabited by both animals and humans. Zoos can be seen as complex built environments containing architecture, constructed landscapes, and various kinds of artifacts. These elements of zoos can be studied empirically. A comparative study of either all the material culture in a single zoo or various kinds of material culture (e.g. cages, zoomorphic toys, signposts) in different zoos will reveal larger patterns. But individual features, too, can become indications and clues for what zoos are, or were, about. Such an archaeological perspective is not inferior to that of a historian or sociologist who will use different kinds of sources. Instead, the focus on the material culture of the zoo allows a complementary perspective that makes our overall knowledge about modern zoos considerably richer.

 

A similar debate about the relevance of archaeology to the study of recent periods, such as the twentieth century, has been conducted among archaeologists and others over the last decade or so. There is now little doubt that archaeologists can make a valid contribution to our understanding even of recent times, within living memory (see e.g. Buchli and Lucas, 2001). Some people might say that the archaeological perspective is particularly important compared to what emerges from archives or interviews, because it is concerned with people's actual behaviour and not with what they or others say and write about it. Since archaeologists are used to focusing on the spheres of ordinary and mundane everyday human behaviour, their insights about zoos may in some respects be more relevant than those of other approaches that might give a lot of weight to the perspective of zoo managers and their institutions.

 

As a form of non-verbal communication, material culture is sometimes hard to read, but it is far from being mute. Reading this rarely-considered empirical category therefore requires an appropriate methodology.

 

Archaeological methods

 

The archaeological approach usually involves a set of particular methods. As our main sources are physical rather than textual, fieldwork in `the material world' is definitely the most evident one. Archaeologists take field visits very seriously, and this implies more than excavations. Through all sorts of surveys, archaeologists are used to inspecting, studying and discussing sites, landscapes and artefacts during prolonged stays in the field, taking detailed notes about both material features and their tentative interpretations. Other important methods include well-established ways in which material culture is documented, analysed and interpreted. Plans or sketch maps and photographs are elementary aspects of surveying. Artefacts are carefully described, depicted and compared. The interpretation of material culture can now draw on several decades of archaeological theory taking on board many intellectual advances, from hermeneutics to post-structuralism (Tilley, 1990).

 

Archaeologists are also used to applying different scales of time and place to the same object of study. The same artefact or feature can represent or evoke different points in both short-term and long-term time-scales. For example, a given enclosure may be newly built but at the same time represent an old enclosure design; a display about the human inhabitants of the rainforest may evoke no longer acceptable notions of idealised primitives, but simultaneously try to save the local communities' resources from destruction in the future. Sites and displays can thus point simultaneously to the past and to the future. Similarly, archaeologists look at single artefacts both individually in their own specific place and as part of much larger sites or structures. For example, a plaque on a bench may commemorate a particular person who enjoyed visiting the zoo, but it is also a detail in a large garden landscape which people are to enjoy by walking, talking, and resting – and which is partly maintained by donations.

 

Archaeological themes

 

There are a number of particularly important themes which archaeologists have discussed in some detail and with some sophistication, and which re-occur in zoos. Space allows only the discussion of some of them here (see Holtorf, 2000, for some more). One such theme is the interpretation of landscapes and the built environment, including architecture. Archaeologists have for many years been talking about how human beings inhabit their surrounding environments in terms that avoid any simplistic nature–culture dichotomy. A historical perspective shows how both our landscapes and townscapes have been created by differently privileged human beings and have been changing continuously. Human environments are inhabited by giving them specific meanings and by making them parts not only of everyday routines but also of special rituals and ceremonies. The zoo is not only a created garden landscape representing the power of the person or institution owning it. The zoological garden also carefully structures the ways in which paying visitors can normally experience and use it. Visitors are expected to move through a seemingly self-contained and secluded environment on pre-selected paths leading to marked viewpoints described in guidebooks, stopping at designated places for activities such as reading information boards, witnessing staged feeding performances, using the playground, or eating in the restaurant.

 

A second familiar archaeological theme is that of human origins and evolution. Few zoos omit a display about human evolution, and they often point to the fact that gorillas and chimpanzees are our closest relatives among the animals, both genetically and behaviourally. Primates, like early human ancestors, are strange and familiar at the same time. They tend to be interpreted as persons and in almost human terms, but they are at same time also very different from us today. Just like zoo visitors in front of the primate enclosures, archaeologists have been struggling with defining precisely what it means to be human and where the human–animal boundary can be drawn in time and space. In zoos, however, there is also an immediate physical answer to this question: the limits of the cage (see discussion below). Maybe the particular appeal of studying both human ancestors and primates lies precisely in this oscillation between like-us and not-like-us.

 

A third theme which archaeologists have engaged with in some detail is that of preservation. The `Green' ethics of preservation and conservation are as much part of the daily practice and self-proclaimed intention of modern archaeology as of that of contemporary zoos. Today, wild animals, just like antique vases or prehistoric hand-axes, are exposed to similar discourses and practices in terms of illicit trade, conservation efforts and museological contextualization. Siberian tigers are talked about in the same way as Etruscan grave goods: they should not be stolen or traded, but carefully documented, preserved, and presented to the public. Why is it that we talk about such incredibly different worlds with one and the same set of words and metaphors? What does this similarity reveal about early 21st-century attitudes towards authenticity and commodification? Moreover, archaeologists are used to considering the impact of present behaviour on long-term survival of a site or artefact, and we tend to take great care in protecting and conserving artefacts or sites at risk. This goes together with continuous debates about norms and values that govern inevitable prioritisation in preserving, conserving, and archiving. The often-stated aim is to protect the cultural heritage for future generations in both museums and in the landscape. This has equally been said concerning the protection of the natural heritage in zoos (which are museums for animals) and natural habitats. Increasingly, zoos have also become concerned with their own heritage, as more and more zoo enclosures and buildings, for example in London and Antwerp, or even entire zoos like Hagenbeck's Tierpark in Hamburg and Tiergarten Schönbrunn in Vienna, have become scheduled historic monuments.

 

These are some of the most important ways in which we as archaeologists believe that we can make a contribution to contemporary Zoo Studies. To see how an archaeological perspective can enrich our understanding of contemporary and historical zoos, it may well be worth while to focus briefly on the topic of cage design.

 

An archaeology of the human–animal boundary

 

In recent years historians of ideas have given considerable attention to the changing relationships between humans and animals. It is a fascinating field of study, but by focusing on philosophers, scientists and writers the impression was given that the theme was a strictly cognitive phenomenon. Nothing could be less true, though. At its root, the human–animal relationship has a very tangible, practical and material dimension and affects all segments of society. Indeed, if there is one place where cognitive schemes about humans and animals are reproduced, consumed and negotiated by the wider public, it must be the zoo.

 

Zoos are central to the Western experience of animals. And the fact that they mostly attract children takes nothing away from that, because it is precisely during childhood that fundamental notions about culture and nature, humans and animals are being formed – in particular through the physical organization of the material world. If there is one locus where the human–animal boundary has literally been materialized, it is the cage. Fences, bars, glass windows, wet moats and electric wire are more than mundane construction materials – to study these is to study the architecture of the human–animal boundary. And to study these from a historical perspective promises formidable insights into the development of human–animal relationships.

 

Strictly speaking, public zoos are a 19th-century invention. But before that date, royal and imperial menageries existed throughout Europe and beyond. Consisting of at least an aviary – in particular filled with pheasants – they also often sheltered more exotic animals obtained by gifts from foreign rulers: ostriches, lions, monkeys. In general, the architecture was fairly simple: cages were rudimentarily designed to prevent animals from escaping or attacking, the forms were simple, and often copied from existing architecture. In the 18th-century royal and imperial menageries of Versailles and Schönbrunn, though, the zoo had an octagonal plan, permitting a panoptic vision of the entire collection – and thus of the entire Creation. There is a remarkable degree of parallelism between this type of zoo design and contemporary taxonomy. Indeed, by carefully subsuming species into different physical entities, cage architecture clearly reflected taxonomic classification; it was an implicit copy of the divine order behind it. While Linnaeus subsumed humans in the category of the primates, along with his contemporaries he still saw a structural difference with animals. Humans still stood at the top of the great scale of being. Essentialism remained, boundaries could not be blurred, cages were categories.

 

After the French Revolution, the royal menagerie of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris became the first public zoo in the world. As a consequence of this seminal episode, in the second half of the 19th century zoos developed into extremely popular urban attractions. More than just animal collections, they also housed museums, libraries, concert halls, bandstands and gardens. In contrast to the menageries, the architecture evolved into highly elaborate buildings that were more than functional units of confinement and display. Instead, they were full of references to exotic, orientalist and colonialist buildings. In the heart of European cities, Egyptian temples, Moorish palaces and Byzantine cloisters were built to shelter animals. Glass and steel, the materials of the industrial revolution, were used to evoke far-off countries. This was a highly visible architecture which did not hide its constructedness. Units were called the `giraffe pavilion', `monkey palace', `reptile house' – the zoo symbolically domesticated wild animals by putting them in recognizable, human-made buildings. The panoptic vision firmly remained in place: when entering a pavilion, the visitor could at once see the entire display. Animals were immediately visible in their cage. But despite this visual proximity, the boundary between animals and visitors was extremely demarcated: massive wrought-iron fences, heavy steel bars, impressive masonry – the Victorian zoo did not allow confusion. Animals were visually near but physically separate.

 

It is certainly no surprise that this enhanced preoccupation with demarcating came at a time when the human–animal boundary was heavily debated. The rise of Darwinism and the discovery of fossils like the Neanderthal had undermined the age-old essentialism. New sciences like parasitology and bacteriology showed that we were surrounded by invisible, but potentially dangerous animal creatures. And entomologists studying social insects had discovered the existence of complex, parallel societies nearby. The late 19th century can be seen as a time of coming to terms with this new, and sometimes threatening, proximity of animals. While cattle markets, abattoirs and tanneries were expelled to the suburban fringes, exotic animals made their entry into the heart of Western cities. But they could only do so through an extremely well structured material regime. The design of cages was, therefore, similar to two other architectural novelties of the Victorian age: the prison and the psychiatric asylum.

 

Already in the early 20th century, protest rose against this way of displaying animals. Carl Hagenbeck in particular demonstrated that a `cage-less' zoo was possible and indeed enhanced the visual experience of the visitors. In his Tierpark at Stellingen near Hamburg the animals lived mostly in outdoor enclosures, separated both from the visitors and from each other by hidden moats, so that they appeared like actors on an impressive stage.

 

Later, architectural modernism came to influence zoo design. As an architectural movement it had started in the 1920s and '30s but remained extremely popular during the 1950s and '60s. According to the modernist doctrine, architecture could influence society. Through the use of spacious rooms, clear lines, even surfaces and lots of light, modernist architects sought to enhance the quality of living in an industrial age. This included the animals' living conditions in the zoo: from London Zoo's well-known penguin pool (1934) and the entire design of Rotterdam Zoo (1938) to much more recent enclosures like the gibbon cage at Stuttgart Zoo (1973) and the penguin pool at Hannover Zoo. Despite differences in style and function between these examples, they nonetheless show how wider enclosures were now filled increasingly with social communities of animals instead of one or a few representative individuals. The resulting architecture was highly visible and explicit: it did not deny the fact that it was human-built. In one glance, you saw penguins and concrete. But boundaries between animals and visitors were strictly `functional': in the 19th-century design of Amsterdam Zoo the giraffe cage had a fence five metres high, thus preventing the giraffe from bending its neck down to the visitors; in Rotterdam Zoo, however, only two planks separated giraffes from onlookers – one could literally touch the animal's head and legs.

 

Why did the need for demarcating the human–animal boundary become less strong? Modernist zoo architecture went hand in hand with the emergence of a new subdiscipline in biology: ethology, the study of animal behaviour. Animals were no longer a threat, but became a modernist model for understanding social behaviour in cramped spaces – cities and cages alike. Following research by Tinbergen, Lorenz and, at a later stage, Jane Goodall, the well-being of animals in zoos was now seen as being dependent on the possibility of natural behaviour. This was the time when tractor tyres, steel ladders and climbing ropes entered the cage. `Unnatural' as these objects may now seem, they once formed part of a programme of behavioural enrichment and social engineering. In Honolulu Zoo, gorillas were even `behaviourally enriched' by a rope through the fence which invited visitors to play some tug-of-war.

 

With Carl Hagenbeck's theatrical principles of enclosures with hidden human–animal boundaries as one precursor, `hyperrealism' has over the past two decades become the dominant paradigm in zoo architecture. Almost all large Western zoos stick to that principle now. Hyperrealist zoo displays share a number of characteristics: the enclosures are wider still, and often have enormous dimensions, up to several hectares. They include not just several specimens of one species, but several sympatric species together, such as giraffes, ostriches and impalas. Cages have given way to enclosures in which certain elements of natural habitats and landscapes are reconstructed or simulated. Today we no longer speak of `pavilions' and `palaces' but of `the chimpanzee island', `the African savannah', `Wild Asia', `Jungle World', `Amazonia'. The panoptic vision, so omnipresent in zoo history, has made room for the exploratory gaze: visitors have no longer any overview of the enclosure, but follow a winding road which permits selective looks so that animals have to be sought between branches. The quiet inspection by the Victorian bourgeoisie has been replaced by the frantic restlessness of Western adventurers-visitors. Wilderness is staged with all the props imaginable: not just plants, but also sounds, smells, temperature, humidity. And most important of all, the boundary between animals and visitors is visually minimalized. Often it consists only of a puddle or a fibre-glass rock, while the electric fencing is hidden from sight. This is implicit architecture, architecture which hides its `constructedness'. Though the outside can sometimes be spectacular (cf. Lisbon Oceanarium, or Cornwall's Eden Project), once inside, the visitor is given the impression of walking in a pristine environment. The real boundary is no longer between visitors and animals, but between outside and inside.

 

Hyperrealist zoo design clearly stems from the desire to enhance the living conditions of caged animals, but it also meets the public's demand for seeing animals in `natural' surroundings – that is, untouched by Western economy or technology. Away with highly functional tractor tyres: the only explicit human artefacts allowed in are evocative ethnographic objects.

 

The 19th-century cage served to protect the bourgeois from the beast; the late 20th-century cage also protects the animal from the visitor. A fundamental shift has taken place. The Victorian visitor could ride an elephant, throw coins at a crocodile and feed the llamas; but today we cannot tap windows, show mirrors, scream, run or feed. The evident superiority and freedom of humanity has been turned into a questioning of anthropocentrism. While this is healthy, there is also some irony in the fact that the popular appeal of hyperrealist architecture, made possible through Western industry and technology, is based on scepticism about that very industry and technology.

 

Conclusion

 

This very brief overview of cage design from an archaeological perspective shows how the material culture of every age is imbued with all sorts of meanings and propositions. Ideas about taxonomy and animal behaviour have shaped the dens and cages of Western zoos, but so have perceptions of wilderness, animal welfare and visitor expectations. Zoo architecture tacitly represents scientific, ideological and commercial premises. This is one field where, in our opinion, an archaeological approach is particularly well suited to making a significant contribution to zoo studies.

Note

Discussions within the project `The Archaeology of Zoos' have informed the content of this paper. The project members are Tony Axelsson, Department of Archaeology, University of Göteborg, Sweden; Dr Sarah Cross, English Heritage, Portsmouth, U.K.; Dr Kathryn Denning, Department of Anthropology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Dr Cornelius Holtorf, National Heritage Board, Stockholm, Sweden (co-leader); Koen Margodt, Department of Philosophy, University of Gent, Belgium; Oscar Ortman, Bohusläns Museum, Uddevalla, Sweden; Dr David Van Reybrouck, Department of History, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium (co-leader); Dr Sofia Åkerberg, Department of Historical Studies, University of Umeå, Sweden. As the result of our project we hope to publish a book in a few years' time. Our next joint conference session entitled `The Archaeology of Zoos' will be held as part of the 5th World Archaeological Congress in Washington, DC, 21–26 June 2003.

 

References

Åkerberg, S. (1999): Nature simplified: the illusion of nature in zoos. In Nature Improved? Interdisciplinary Essays on Humanity's Relationship with Nature (eds. E. Mårald, C. Nordlund, L. Pitkä-Kangas and S. Åkerberg), pp. 39–50. Umeå: Kungl. Skytteanska Samfundet.

Åkerberg, S. (2001): Knowledge and Pleasure at Regent's Park: The Gardens of the Zoological Society of London during the Nineteenth Century. Department of Historical Studies, Umeå Universitet.

Baratay, E., and Hardouin-Fugier, E. (2002): Zoo: A History of Zoological Gardens in the West. Reaktion, London.

Buchli, V., and Lucas, G. (eds.) (2001): Archaeologies of the Contemporary Past. Routledge, London and New York.

Hanson, E. (2002): Animal Attractions: Nature on Display in American Zoos. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford.

Holtorf, C. (2000): Sculptures in captivity and monkeys on megaliths: observations in zoo archaeology. Public Archaeology 1: 195–210.

Hyson, J. (2002): Urban Jungles: Zoos and American Society. UMI, Ann Arbor.

Margodt, K. (2000): The Welfare Ark: Suggestions for a Renewed Policy in Zoos. VUB Press, Brussels.

Mullan, B., and Marvin, G. (1999): Zoo Culture: The Book about Watching People Watch Animals (2nd ed.). University of Illinois Press, Urbana and Chicago.

O'Regan, H. (2002): From bear pit to zoo. British Archaeology, December 2002, 13–19.

Rothfels, N. (2002): Savages and Beasts: The Birth of the Modern Zoo. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.

Tilley, C. (ed.) (1990): Reading Material Culture: Structuralism, Hermeneutics and Post-Structuralism. Blackwell, Oxford.

 

Dr Cornelius Holtorf, Riksantikvarieämbetet, Stockholm, Sweden; Dr David Van Reybrouck, Department of History, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. (Corresponding author: Cornelius Holtorf, cornelius.holtorf@raa.se)

 

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SOME NOTES ON RESTRAINT BOX DESIGN FOR OKAPI

 

BY FARSHID MEHRDADFAR, JOE SHULER AND KEN McCAFFREE

 

In writing this article, it is our intention to share with our colleagues a glimpse of the husbandry practices that have successfully allowed us to establish captive management guidelines for okapis at San Diego Wild Animal Park (WAP). The information gathered and presented here will continue to strengthen this database as our collection grows. It must also be noted that this information has been, and will continue to be, a compilation of data gathered and submitted by a number of keepers throughout the history of our collection in this institution. The consistency of the husbandry practices maintained by this team has made this article possible. The partnership and close working relationship established and maintained between the Mammal Department (San Diego WAP), Veterinary Services (San Diego WAP) and our sister facility (San Diego Zoo) has allowed us unparalleled access to the resources needed in order to succeed in planning and designing the device that has been incorporated into our husbandry routine. This article's aim is to share details of the design and use of this device; the steps taken to implement a new training regime for our collection will be described in another article.

 

Introduction

 

The okapi (Okapia johnstoni) remains one of the major zoological mysteries of Africa, so little is known about its behavior in the wild. The species was only officially `discovered' in 1901 by Sir Harry Johnston, the British explorer, whose interest had been aroused by the persistent rumors of a horse-like animal, living in the forests of the Belgian Congo, that was hunted by the pygmies. `Okapi' is the name that the pygmies gave to this creature.

 

The species' present distribution is confined to the rain forest of the northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) up to the Uganda border and the Semliki River in the east. About 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 remaining wild okapi live in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in the Ituri Forest, a remote region that was badly affected by armed conflict in 1997–98.

 

The okapi's characteristic giraffe-like features include skin-covered horns and lobed canine teeth, together with a long, extendible black tongue, which is used to gather food into the mouth. Only the males are horned, although females sometimes have a variable pair of horn sheaths. Unlike giraffes, okapis have glands on their feet, and they have also been reported to mark bushes with urine. These factors, together with their solitary existence, imply a social system based on male territoriality. The okapi has been a protected species since 1933. However, hunting remains a real problem. Subsistence hunting is unlikely to have endangered the status of the species, but this is not the case with the bush-meat trade, which now threatens all the larger forest mammals, including the okapi, in the more accessible parts of its habitat.

 

Brief history of okapi at the San Diego Wild Animal Park

 

The park received its first okapi (1.0 Mokolo) on 13 December 1978. Two days later we received a female named Kamino. Both animals came to us from San Diego Zoo, and were paired up shortly after arrival. The first calf was born at the park on 27 July 1980. As of December 2002, San Diego WAP has had a total of 30 births.

 

Objective and design of the okapi restraint box

 

The zoo community has come a long way from simply exhibiting animals for amusement. Further understanding of the term `training' provides one more step toward better and more complete care and sound animal keeping. Having a team project and a closer rapport with our animals has been another decisive factor toward achieving our goals. Although training has always been a part of an animal keeper's job (training the animals to shift to and from an exhibit, moving them to different holding areas, etc.), the present level of training has given us a more expanded and formal role as animal keepers performing our daily routines.

 

Traditionally our okapi `standard operation procedures' (SOP) have been generally based on the free contact concept. Although we have been extremely successful with our husbandry practices, this method had precluded us from utilizing a number of routine procedures that we thought could be performed without the use of chemical agents. After reviewing the number of such procedures performed on each animal (e.g. hoof trims, body palpation, grooming, etc.), and understanding and adhering to our safety policy, a project team was formed and given the task of exploring and compiling all available ideas that have been in practice in different facilities. From the beginning it was our goal not to exclude the concept of free contact, but to come up with ways in which both free and protected contact could be utilized (depending on the temperament of the animal and the procedure on hand) and included in our SOP. The project team didn't have to travel far to discover that the idea of the okapi restraint box (ORB) had been thought of and was well into its design phase at San Diego Zoo.

 

Our colleagues at our sister facility were extremely kind and accommodating by including us during different procedures involving the ORB. After reviewing and on-site observation of the device in use, the project team gained new members including our colleagues from the zoo as well as our partners at the WAP Veterinary Services. The following objectives were defined and presented to the curatorial staff for their review and comments:

– Safety of the animals and the staff;

– Realistic identification of the procedures that could be performed by utilizing the ORB;

– Further enhancement of the device in use at San Diego Zoo (e.g. movable side wall/hugger, quick release wall allowing fast access to a side yard, keeper friendly access panels);

– Natural history of the okapi;

– Presentation of the current husbandry routine (SOP) of the area and the modified version of the SOP after placement of the device in our housing facility;

– Labor allocation for acclimating the animals to this device and the training goals identified for our husbandry routine;

– Recruitment and establishment of close partnership between the Mammal Department and Construction and Maintenance Department for this project;

– Placement/location for this device in our housing facility;

– Publication and presentation of our efforts;

– The importance of information gathered by utilizing this device for and toward scientific research (partnership of art of husbandry and science of captive animal management);

– Presentation of the design concept to our partners in the Development Department with a view to securing donation money for construction of the ORB.

 

Shortly after our presentation to the curatorial staff, we not only received their full support but were also given access to the resources necessary to accomplish our task.

 

Brief description of our husbandry routine

 

Our guests at the San Diego Wild Animal Park can view our okapis in the `Heart of Africa' exhibit (opened to the public in 1997). Animals are walked to their exhibits and holding pens daily and are housed individually in their bedrooms every night. This routine has provided us with a unique opportunity to build a close relationship with our collection.

 

Included in our okapi SOP is an in-depth list of behaviors that are currently in process of being shaped and target behaviors that are shaped and established by different trainers. Since the placement of the ORB, a number of behaviors have been added to our list; these include but are not limited to:

– Thorough tactile examination of targeted animals;

– Routine blood collection;

– Routine temperature collection;

– Hoof care;

– Ultrasound examination;

– Milk collection;

– Administration of medication.

 

In order to further share our efforts with our colleagues, we are in process of developing video footage of this device and its applications at our facility. (We will advertise the availability of this video in Animal Keepers' Forum and International Zoo News when completed.)

 

Acknowledgments

This team is indebted to the following individuals for their close support and guidance: Dr Larry Killmar, Dr Alan Dixson, Randy Rieches, Carmi Penny, Dr Don Janssen, Dr Jeff Zuba, Dr Jim Oosterhuis, Dr Jack Allen, Dr Phil Ensley, Dr Nadine Lamberski, Dr Jim Dolan, Bob McClure, Linda Smith, Curby Simerson, Terry Mulroney, Michael Ahlering, Frank Stoudek, Andy Blue, Lance Aubery and Gary Priest. We are grateful for the generous donation of Kathy Pickard and Dr Roger Tibbetts. We would like to express our sincere thanks to our team members and all the excellent keeper staff at the Wild Animal Park's Mammal Department, and specifically the HOA (Heart of Africa) team. We would also like to thank and recognize the efforts of our team member, Tony Franceschiello, for the photo documentation of our efforts.

 

Farshid Mehrdadfar, Joe Shuler and Ken McCaffree, Zoological Society of San Diego, San Diego Wild Animal Park, 15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido, California 92027, U.S.A.

 

                                   *   *   *

 

THE ZOOS OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT

 

BY JOHN TUSON

 

The Isle of Wight is located about ten miles, twenty minutes and thirty years away from mainland England. It's a relaxed, rather old-fashioned place, neatly summed by the British novelist Julian Barnes, who wrote of `a combination of rolling chalk downland of considerable beauty and bungaloid dystopia'. Each year its population of around 130,000 is boosted by a huge number of tourists – and amongst the attractions that entertain them are a number of animal collections. These include several relatively minor establishments – a rare breeds farm park which also maintains some exotic species (Asian otters, meerkats, crowned cranes), a falconry centre and a small marine aquarium amongst them – but there are three significant zoos on the island: the Isle of Wight Zoo in Sandown, Amazon World in Newchurch, and the Flamingo Park Wildlife Encounter in Seaview.

 

The Isle of Wight Zoo is the longest established of this trio, having been founded in 1955. Writing in 1957, Geoffrey Schomberg saw fit to mention the zoo's `numerous collection of the smaller species of bird and mammal' (British Zoos, p. 79). But by 1972, and the same author's Penguin Guide to British Zoos, the verdict was rather dismissive, with the zoo's owner's claim that he had the largest lion in the world being ridiculed: `What is certain,' wrote Schomberg, `is that the enclosures are neither the largest in Europe, nor in Britain.' By 1977, and Anthony Smith's seminal Animals on View, the zoo had vanished from the radar: Smith wrote of several hundred places but did not include the Isle of Wight Zoo. To casual observers it may have looked as though the Isle of Wight Zoo was just another of the cornucopia of collections which disappeared, largely unmourned, through the 1970s. In fact, in 1976, the zoo had been acquired by a former RAF pilot, Jack Corney. In the quarter of a century since, it has been redeveloped, revitalised and reborn, to the extent that it is now a satisfactory small zoo with a clear sense of purpose and much to commend it. If one criticism is to be made of the zoo, it would be that, in common with many British zoos, it is occasionally guilty of an excess of vulgarity and hyperbole. The zoo's promotional leaflet is perhaps the best indicator of this: `Britain's most educational and entertaining zoo!' it announces in near-hysterical tones, while a series of vox-pops suggest that many visitors have found their visit to Sandown to be an almost religious experience: `the ambition of a lifetime fulfilled' says a Russian, while a more local guest concludes `mega, great, brill, ace as usual!' One visitor, presumably not a regular zoo-goer, even describes the place as the `best zoo we've ever been to – brilliant!'

 

The truth of the matter is rather more prosaic. The Isle of Wight Zoo is a perfectly pleasant establishment, in which an attractive collection of big cats and lemurs is maintained in what are thoroughly reasonable enclosures. The cats – lions, jaguars, leopards and about 16 tigers – are held in cages not unlike those at Howletts and Port Lympne – although the Isle of Wight versions are considerably smaller. Perhaps rather more interesting are two large lemur cages, in which four species are mixed according – vaguely - to their geographical provenance. Ring-tailed and black-and-white ruffed lemurs are, predictably, to be seen, but so too are white-fronted brown and black lemurs (Eulemur fulvus albifrons and E. m. macaco). The enclosures are large, open-topped and well furnished and planted, and with some attractive graphics, this is a strong display. In addition to the zoo's core species, there are also various other primates from the more common end of the spectrum (grivet, brown capuchin and black spider monkeys), coatis, leopard cats, some unremarkable birds, and a small and routine reptile house that does contain several poisonous species. Some intelligent talks and presentations are offered each day, and the conservation message is delivered enthusiastically and consistently.

 

There is a sense at this zoo that quite a lot has been squeezed into a small area – the zoo is largely set inside the walls of an old sea fort, constructed to repel Napoleon – and it is certainly not the animal wonderland which the publicity might lead one to expect. But, nonetheless, this is a solid, fairly traditional place, doing what it does quite well.

 

Amazon World is a very different zoo. Different from the Isle of Wight Zoo, that is, but also very different from pretty much any zoo I have ever had the chance to visit. It is a truly extraordinary place, with a large collection, containing a startling number of real zoo rarities, presented in a way that goes from the wonderful to the really very ugly. Its mammal collection includes the standbys of every small zoo – prairie dogs, meerkats, mara, agouti – but it also includes some A-list animals which would enliven many a more prestigious establishment: Hoffmann's sloth (which have bred), pygmy opossum, prehensile-tailed and brush-tailed porcupine, tamandua (two different subspecies), zorilla, hairy armadillo. The bird collection, too, has its highlights, including at least six different members of the Ramphastidae (toucan) family. Much of the collection is housed in a massive greenhouse, and this part of the zoo, with large numbers of free-flying birds (including some very friendly white-cheeked and violet turacos), and some rampant plants, could be very good indeed. The mammal accommodation here, though, is a little unimaginative – rectangular cages, not always large, not always well-furnished. At the time of my visit a tamandua, for example, found its very open cage almost surrounded by visitors, with just some scanty branches to enhance its environment. This may well have been a temporary exhibit, and we are all aware that every zoo has an occasional black-spot, but this really wasn't good enough. Unimpressive, too, are a string of box-like enclosures loosely themed as a desert area, in which species such as Egyptian fruit bat, Nile monitor and fennec fox are to be seen in unimaginative surroundings. Amazon World also has an outdoor area, and here the ugliness really kicks in: wire mesh, mud and pathways combine in a mélange of awkward planning. And while some species seem to do reasonably well – the peccaries and the capybaras probably won't complain too loudly – there are further enclosures, including some for a variety of the more commonly-seen lemur species, which aren't really up to standard.

 

Amazon World does, in places, look something of a mess. Huge numbers of signs and graphics litter the place, including a string which offer quotations from such zoological luminaries as George Bush. Museum-type displays purport to tell the story of agriculture, using some fairly unconvincing plastic pineapples. Cages seem to have been crammed in wherever there is room for them (and often where there isn't).

 

It is certainly to be applauded that Amazon World has tried to be different, and I will seldom complain about a zoo which looks beyond the obvious species for its collection. There is, too, an enthusiasm about the place which is commendable. But perhaps this is a zoo which is trying to do just too much. Maybe concentrating on doing half as much, but doing it twice as well, would pay dividends.

 

Flamingo Park Wildlife Encounter (not Zoo, note, or Bird Garden, but `Wildlife Encounter', whatever that might mean) is an altogether more satisfying place. Tucked in behind the small seaside town of Seaview, it's an unremarkable establishment in many ways, very conservative in its displays and, perhaps, unambitious in its aims. But it is good at what it does, and since its founding in 1971 it has offered a pleasant hour or three for its visitors. The collection is dominated by large numbers of wildfowl (many of which wander freely, and all of which can be fed by visitors), and there are flamingos, too, of course – about 100 in total, of three species: lesser, Chilean and Caribbean. A fairly large pool for Humboldt's penguins has seen a fair amount of breeding, and there are other birds at the showier end of the spectrum: parrots and macaws (several in a long flight cage, a smaller version of the much lauded example at Paradise Park in Cornwall), pelicans, owls (most notably the African marsh owl Asio capensis), some demoiselle cranes, and various pheasants and laughing thrushes. There is little to get the aviculturalist's pulse racing, nor will the mammalogist be massively excited by the red squirrels, white wallabies and solitary Canadian beaver which are to be seen here. However, those who appreciate a pleasantly laid-out garden, filled with clean and tidy aviaries, enhanced with a busy programme of talks and presentations, will enjoy Flamingo Park very much indeed – no matter how absurd its appellation.

 

The Isle of Wight is a slightly sleepy place, not at the cutting edge of things, certainly, but attractive enough to make tourism one of its most important industries. Along with various dinosaur-themed places (the island is a hot-spot for fossils) and some buildings of great historical importance (amongst them Queen Victoria's holiday home, and the castle in which King Charles I was imprisoned), it is good to see zoos so heavily represented. And while none of these three zoos would on its own account justify a trip across the water from the mainland, each is certainly worthy of a visit by anyone who has already made that trip.

John Tuson, 44 Cowper Street, Hove, East Sussex BN3 5BN, U.K. (E-mail: johnnytuson@hotmail.com)

 

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 

Dear Sir,

 

I thought IZN 50 (2) was a particularly good issue; the balance and range of articles was excellent. However, I read with a little scepticism and, I must admit, a certain amount of consternation John Tuson's report on the new Omega Parque zoo in Portugal.

 

I wish the Birchenoughs every success with their zoological venture, as I would anyone opening a collection of captive animals to the public in this day and age. But despite his commendable efforts to enthuse over Omega Parque, Mr Tuson was unable to convince me that this zoological garden will be anything more that a compendium of clichés universal amongst small-scale, low-budget politically-correct zoos Europe-wide.

 

The process of homogenisation that is sweeping across British zoos in particular is summed up at Omega Parque. But the park’s salvation is its location in a country where political correctness has not inflicted serious damage on its admittedly small and less developed zoo community. As John points out, Omega Parque contrasts quite starkly with its neighbouring zoos, and to the Portuguese it will be a refreshing change. It will be a popular facility amongst the population for that reason alone, though I personally hope it does not set a precedent.

 

With the simple and self-professed aim of housing stock surplus to EEPs, the facility will fulfil its role quite adequately. And to that end it has my full support.

 

Kind regards,

Sam Whitbread,

38 Demesne Road,

Whalley Range,

Manchester M16 8HJ, U.K.

Samwhitbread@hotmail.com

 

[John Tuson writes: I could not agree more strongly with Sam – the homogenisation of zoo collections is, in many ways, an undesirable trend. If he were to visit Omega Parque, therefore, he would be as delighted as I was to see white-bellied spider monkeys, belted ruffed lemurs, double-wattled cassowaries and broad-nosed gentle lemurs – none common in captivity – alongside the more predictable waldrapps, red pandas and Sulawesi macaques (delightful species all, of course, but rather more frequently encountered in the European zoo world). More than that, though, he would see a zoo that is different. The design of Omega Parque, and the principles which lie behind it, mark this out as a zoo that stands apart form the common herd. A simple detail – the refusal to use disposable crockery and packaging in the café – is one that, perhaps, appeals to me most of all: here is that rarity, a zoo that really is true to all the talk about conservation. Remember, too, that its location, in southern Portugal, means that it is the only zoo of any quality at all for many miles around – talk of homogenisation in such a zoo-desert is irrelevant. Instead, the zoo world should applaud the fact that an establishment of this quality has appeared, and wish that establishment every success for the future.]

 

Dear Sir,

 

After reading Herman Reichenbach's excellent article `Zoos down under [IZN 50 (2), 72–85], I remembered reading a few sentences in Bernhard Grzimek's book Four-footed Australians (1967) where he mentioned that a platypus was sent to London Zoo some time during World War II. The ship carrying the platypus was sunk a day's sailing from Liverpool.

 

I have been unable to find any more information about this interesting occurrence. Does any reader know who sent this animal and when it was sent?

 

Yours faithfully,

Raymond Owen,

19 Brain Close, Hatfield,

Herts. AL10 8BT, U.K.

 

                                   *   *   *

 

BOOK REVIEWS

 

WILD CATS OF THE WORLD by Mel and Fiona Sunquist. University of Chicago Press, 2002. x + 452 pp., photos, maps, 32 pp. of colour plates, hardback. ISBN 0–226–77999–8. £31.50 or $45.00.

TIGER MOON: TRACKING THE GREAT CATS IN NEPAL by Fiona and Mel Sunquist. University of Chicago Press, 2nd ed., 2002. xii + 193 pp., photos, paperback. ISBN 0–226–77997–1. £11.50 or $16.00.

 

Mel and Fiona Sunquist are a husband-and-wife team who have been studying cats since the early 1970s. Mel, an associate professor at the University of Florida, Gainesville, began his zoological career tracking snow leopards in Pakistan with George Schaller, and went on to two years studying tigers in Nepal's Chitwan National Park; Fiona joined him in Nepal, and subsequently spent 15 years as a `roving editor' for International Wildlife Magazine. Their combined qualifications in academic and field zoology, scientific journalism, and lifelong fascination with cats make Wild Cats of the World an enthralling read for all ailurophiles. It seems certain to be the standard reference work on the subject for many years to come.

 

The past three decades – roughly, the period since the publication of the last comprehensive study of the Felidae, C.A.W. Guggisberg's 1975 book of the same title as the present one – has seen an exponential growth in our knowledge of this family. Much of this knowledge has been acquired through the work of field researchers using a technique, radiotelemetry, which Mel Sunquist pioneered in the Chitwan project (and which is entertainingly described – with much else – in Tiger Moon, a reprint, updated with a new and optimistic afterword, of a book originally published in 1988). Other methods – camera trapping and DNA analysis of faeces and hair – are in their infancy but offer prospects of far more detailed information in the future. So far, not all species have benefited equally from modern field research, and it is striking how little is still known about many felid species. The bay cat (Catopuma badia) – admittedly an extreme example – was first collected by Alfred Russel Wallace in 1855, but no live one was photographed until 1998: it is elusive, rare, and almost certainly endangered (and its status isn't improved by the fact that animal dealers in Borneo believe – rightly or wrongly – that Western zoos would pay a high price for a living specimen).

 

After an introductory chapter on `The Essence of Cats', discussing in general terms the family's morphology, senses, vocalisations, and land tenure and social systems, and an agreeably brief and simple taxonomic summary, the bulk of Wild Cats of the World consists of 36 species accounts. These broadly follow a common format – introduction (mainly historical), description, distribution, ecology and behaviour, status in the wild, and (where applicable) status in captivity and conservation efforts. Tables, distribution maps and extensive references accompany each account, and there are superb colour photos of every species (most of them presumably taken in zoos, though this is not stated). The book ends with brief chapters on field research techniques, relocating cats, and `conserving felids in the twenty-first century', and appendices on CITES and IUCN listings, olfactory and vocal communication, and reproduction.

 

The main emphasis of Wild Cats of the World is on ecology and behaviour. If you want authoritative accounts of the latest knowledge on how cats live in the wild, this is the book for you. For information on wild status and conservation efforts, as the authors point out in their preface, Kristin Nowell and Peter Jackson's Wild Cats: Status Survey and Conservation Action Plan (IUCN, 1996) is still the best authority to turn to. It must be said, too, that some of the Sunquists' sections on captive status give an unjustifiably pessimistic view of zoos' contribution to felid conservation. On the dust-wrapper, the publishers claim that the authors `have spent more than a decade gathering information'; in some cases, it seems, information they gathered more than a decade ago has not subsequently been updated. On fishing cats, for example, they quote a 1988 figure of 33 in North American and European zoos: the current ISIS list gives 128 in those two regions (and 181 worldwide). On sand cats, they present a bleak picture – `A few have survived in captivity for several years' – but ISIS today lists 88, and my subjective impression is that this species is now well established in zoos and increasing steadily.

 

This is, however, a relatively minor blemish. It's a pity that readers from outside the zoo community will be given a misleading impression of the current captive status of some cat species; but no one is going to turn to this book primarily for information about cats in zoos. What Wild Cats of the World does have to offer is a compendium of the current knowledge on the feeding ecology, social organisation, reproduction and development of every felid species. And in one respect the book's title is too restrictive – those who, like me, are hopelessly addicted to domestic cats will be pleased to find 14 pages devoted to this never wholly tamed subspecies of Felis silvestris!

 

Nicholas Gould

 

SKYSCRAPERS AND SEALIONS by C.H. Keeling. Clam Publications, 2002. 137 pp., illus., paperback. ISBN 1–874795–23–1. Available only direct from the author, C.H. Keeling, 13 Pound Place, Shalford, Guildford, Surrey GU4 8HH, U.K. Cheques and international money orders to be payable to C.H. Keeling. Price, post paid, £10 (U.K.) or £14 (overseas, sterling only, please).

THE CENTRAL PARK ZOO by Joan Scheier. Arcadia Publishing, Portsmouth (New Hampshire), 2002. 128 pp., illus., paperback. ISBN 0–7385–1100–5. US$19.99.

 

Last visiting New York 14 years ago, I flagged down a taxi one afternoon to take me to the Central Park Zoo. `The zoo?' the driver asked with a short laugh, `This whole f... city's a zoo!' Bill Conway may well have engaged the same driver once, as it was only a couple of years later that the New York Zoological Society banned the word `zoo' in favour of `wildlife conservation park' or `wildlife center'. To use a New York expression, the Central Park Zoo just didn't get no respect.

 

It still doesn't in historical quarters: look up `America's first zoo' in Google, and you'll be guided to the website of the Philadelphia Zoo. Look up `Philadelphia' in the Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos and you'll find `America's first zoo'. Yet, as Clinton Keeling points out in the first book-length study of the Central Park Zoo, by the time Philadelphia inaugurated its zoo in 1874, New York's first permanent menagerie had a collection that would embellish most American zoos today, and a director with a doctorate. Much of the controversy seems to do with semantics: what constitutes a `zoo' in the first place? With the inauguration of the large and magnificent New York Zoological Park (a.k.a. Bronx Zoo) in 1899, the small, two-hectare (5.5-acre) menagerie in the centre of Manhattan became largely ignored by visitors from outside New York. It was never `inaugurated' in the first place; it just grew from a collection beginning, apparently, with a bear and some swans deposited near New York's arsenal on the edge of Central Park in 1859. It wasn't until 1864 – still a decade before the opening of Philadelphia Zoo – that it received charter confirmation from New York's assembly. Philadelphia's claim to having America's first zoo stems from the founding of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia in 1859: from then on Philadelphia wanted to establish a zoo. It simply didn't get around to it until 15 years later.

 

It's frankly amazing that such an old and venerable institution as the Central Park Zoo – and for millions of New Yorkers over decades it was venerable – needed over 140 years to attract the attention of a book writer. Now within the same year two books have been published on its history, one largely a photo album, the other a text of modest pretensions written by an Englishman who boasts of never having been to New York. Mr Keeling is perhaps the most prolific zoo historian around: he has over two dozen books to his credit, all published by himself, on the history of various British menageries, including one he once owned and ran himself, and recently another of which he was once curator. As the founder of the Bartlett Society, established in 1984, he called into being the only organization devoted to the history of zoos. One looks in vain for bibliographical references in his works, but he is always generous in acknowledging sources. And he never hides an opinion. Skyscrapers and Sealions is largely based on information fished from those annual reports of the Central Park Zoo that happen to be available in the library of the Zoological Society of London, as well as cuttings (or photocopies) of newspaper articles sent in by American acquaintances. As Mr Keeling himself emphasizes in his introduction, his new book is largely an account of the zoo's animal collection, not the story of the menagerie.

 

The Central Park Zoo was not so much written as compiled by Joan Scheier: one in the series `Images of America' published by a New Hampshire-based imprint of a small South Carolina publisher, it consists of perhaps 200 photographs with mostly brief captions. Ms Scheier herself is introduced on the cover as a docent at the Central Park Zoo and a past school librarian. Her book shows enthusiasm, and the pictures are well reproduced. What's missing, unfortunately, are dates: when was this and that photo actually taken? Beginning with the very first, obviously 19th-century, illustration in the chapter titled `Menagerie', I at least would have liked to know in what year the picture was originally published. All the more so as the illustration, taken from Harper's Weekly, is captioned `Zoological Garden, Central Park, N.Y.' [my italics], bringing us back to the question of how a collection had to be described before becoming recognized as America's first zoo.

 

Mr Keeling and Ms Scheier both divide the history of the Central Park Zoo into three phases: the `menagerie' (c. 1860–1934), the `zoo' (1934–1984) and today's `wildlife centre'. The wild-animal collection in New York's Central Park was largely demolished and completely modernized twice in its history: during the Great Depression, rebuilt mostly with bars and brown brick as a project of the Works Progress Administration giving employment to masons, craftsmen and artists; and again 50 years later after the zoo was taken over by the New York Zoological Society and remodelled by what Mr Keeling calls detestingly `the conservationists'. The polar bear is now the largest animal in a zoo that once housed them all – elephants, rhinoceroses, hippopotamuses, giraffes – on two hectares! But at least it does have polar bears, which Mr Keeling (but not only Mr Keeling) now misses in most British zoos. He and Ms Scheier both, presumably, would agree that their two, new books on the history of the Central Park Zoo are introductions at best: may they encourage an historian, say a Ph.D. candidate, with time and access to the relevant archives to write the history of what really is the oldest zoo in the Americas. Thanks to a British zoo historian, that at least should no longer be questioned.

 

Herman Reichenbach

 

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CONSERVATION

 

Working to save China's golden monkeys

 

Although golden monkeys (Rhinopithecus roxellana) are considered national treasures in China and have been prominent in Chinese culture for hundreds of years, little is known scientifically about them. Few studies have ever been done of them until recently, because they are hard to find and even harder to follow as they leap from tree to tree in their mountainous terrain in the provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi, Hubei, and Gansu. range also famous for its high concentration of. As leaf-eaters living high in the mountains in small, isolated pockets of habitat, they are particularly vulnerable to extinction. Fortunately, the Chinese government has set aside several nature reserves, which have created safe havens for the golden monkeys, and this has opened the door for some ground-breaking behavior studies by researchers from San Diego's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) and their colleagues in China.

 

Professor Baoguo Li of Northwest University in Xian is a leading primatologist in China. Since 1989, he and his research team have been studying golden monkeys in Qinling, Shaanxi, a mountain range also famous for its high concentration of giant pandas. According to the latest survey, 39 groups of the monkeys are found in this area; Prof. Li's work has concentrated on two of these, East Ridge Troop and West Ridge Troop. Between 1989 and 2001, he and his students conducted ecological studies of the monkeys under poor observation conditions, often from more than 50 meters away. Although the team was able to document feeding and ranging behaviors, they were unable to study the animals' social behavior because it was almost impossible to recognize individual monkeys.

 

In 2001, Professor Li, with assistance from Dr Chia Tan, a CRES Millennium Postdoctoral Fellow, devised a plan to habituate the West Ridge Troop to humans and subsequently learn about the monkeys' social organization and behavioral patterns. Through food provisioning, they hoped to improve observation conditions. Their efforts were rewarded in November 2001, when a juvenile discovered that the items scattered on the ground were palatable. Within a day, other individuals also made this discovery, and within two weeks the entire troop was acclimated.

 

Golden monkeys, in addition to having a specialized diet (primarily of leaves from about 85 plant species, supplemented by lichen in winter), are known to form unusually large social groups. The West Ridge Troop contains about 90 individuals and is organized into eight family units, each of which is led by an adult male. Family units also contain a number of adult females and their offspring. In the spring of 2002, 15 infants were born, and all of them have survived to date.

 

Golden monkeys are extremely vocal, especially during feeding periods and aggressive encounters. Thus far, it appears that a dominance hierarchy exists among the family units. Agonistic interactions between adult males are common at the feeding site and usually seem to be instigated by the respective harem females. Social bonds between members of the family unit are frequently reinforced via physical contacts such as embracing. During resting periods, family members usually huddle together in a tree. They often engage in social grooming, which is another way to enhance family ties.

 

During 2003, Professor Li and Dr Tan will further examine the social structure of golden monkeys. In particular, they will focus on vocal communications between troop members and detail the relationships between individuals within family units as well as among the discrete family units. By taking part in such conservation studies, CRES will work to identify the special problems these monkeys face in the wild, while also seeking solutions that will help this elusive and legendary species survive.

 

Abridged from Dr Chia Tan in CRES Report (Spring 2003)

 

Philippine owl conservation project

 

A significant event in the history of Philippine wildlife conservation took place on 29 November 2002, with the arrival of the first three pairs of Philippine eagle owls (Bubo philippensis) at the Negros Forests and Ecological Foundation's Biodiversity Conservation Centre (NFEFI-BCC) in Bacolod, Negros. The animals were obtained on breeding loan from the Department of Natural Resources Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (DENR-PAWB) through the generous support and assistance of Joaquin Gaw, administrator of Avilon Zoological Gardens in Montalban (Rizal Province, Luzon) and William Oliver, international coordinator for the Philippine Owls Conservation Programme and director of Fauna and Flora's Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Programme. The event constitutes the first ever such breeding loan between DENR-accredited institutions in the country, and serves as the pioneering effort for the proposed development of the first properly-structured conservation breeding programme for this increasingly threatened endemic species.

 

The six individuals intended to comprise an initial founder stock were selected from among a total of 16 (6.9.1) birds held at Avilon, all but one of which had been previously sexed and leg-banded. These birds had been maintained at the zoo for varying lengths of time, though most were acquired as chicks, and hand-reared, over the preceding two to three years. The identity and sex of all birds was double-checked via their leg bands and, where necessary, additional rings were added to aid future identification via use of right and left leg bands for males and females respectively. All birds were also given a brief health check before being transported to Bacolod.

 

As all the owls had been kept together in a single large aviary at Avilon for several months prior to the move, they were housed together on arrival at the BCC, primarily to monitor their adjustment to the new surroundings and to encourage the natural formation of pair-bonds. Tentative bonds were observed a few days after arrival; however, these may have been a result of what appeared to be a hierarchy among the individuals, with the more dominant pair taking the highest perch and the least dominant the lowest. As aggression was observed among the three formed pairs, they were transferred to separate breeding/flight aviaries, the construction of which was sponsored by the World Owl Trust and the Owl TAG (U.K.) and the German Avicultural Society (Owls Chapter) through the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP, Germany). Currently, one pair remain housed together, while the others had to be separated because the females began displaying aggression towards the males after about a month, with the males taking lower perches or staying on the ground. All four are now alternately housed, by sex, in separate but adjacent enclosures in an attempt to re-initiate pair-bonding.

 

Maria Pilar Diaz, curator, NFEFI-BCC (3 March 2003)

 

South China tigers to be trained for reintroduction

 

Selected zoo-bred South China tiger cubs are to be sent to South Africa, where they will be trained to hunt effectively in a special area of 300 km2 that has been secured by the London- and U.S.-based conservation organization Save China's Tigers. To maximize the chances of success, this rehabilitation project will be conducted in parallel with the on-going Meihuashan Chinese Tiger Rehabilitation project in Fujian, China. When the tigers have successfully regained hunting skills and are able to survive independently in the wild, they will be returned to a pilot reserve in China. Meanwhile, China will start the work of surveying land and restoring habitat and prey animals in the reserve. It is hoped that the first rehabilitated tigers will be reintroduced into the wild in China in 2008, to coincide with the hosting of the Olympic Games by Beijing.

 

Writing in Cat News (the newsletter of the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group) No. 37, Peter Jackson recognises that it would be desirable to see the South China tiger restored in its homeland, where it has had great cultural significance. `But reintroduction is a complicated and difficult operation,' he goes on, `particularly with large carnivores; failure is all too likely. While there is no objection to a captive population in South Africa, or elsewhere, cat and carnivore reintroduction specialists believe that there would be a greater chance of success if tigers were trained and prepared in their natural habitat rather than where tigers have never lived.'

 

St Vincent amazon update

 

For many years, the St Vincent Forestry Department has maintained a back-up captive population of the St Vincent amazon parrot (Amazona guildingii) at the Calvin Nicholls Wildlife Complex in Kingstown. In 2002 a number of initiatives were taken by various local and international organizations to improve facilities at the complex. The most significant events included the introduction of new specialist diet products, which are now being donated regularly by Canadian pet food company Rolf C. Hagen; major renovation works to the aviary accommodation buildings [see IZN 49 (5), pp. 276–278]; and a veterinary workshop organized by the Wildlife Conservation Society. I personally undertook several husbandry review consulting visits to the complex, these trips being jointly funded by Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, Barbados, and the Loro Parque Foundation.

 

For many years some breeding success has regularly been achieved at the Wildlife Complex, but 2003 looks likely to yield the best results to date. In April 2003 two pairs each hatched two chicks, which are all currently being successfully parent-reared. One of these pairs had bred before, but the other pair had previously been unsuccessful; a breakthrough was made when staff noticed that their clutch of eggs did not appear to be turned properly by the parents. Staff therefore hand-turned the eggs in the nest box several times a day, resulting in the successful hatching of two chicks.

 

There is a significant captive population of the St Vincent amazon on its native island, with some 40 birds either at the Wildlife Complex or being kept by local custodians, who are licensed and regularly inspected by the forestry department. The increasing breeding success being achieved in 2003 brings heightened interest and momentum to the department's conservation programme. The young birds reared will increase future pairing options and their presence is a great inspiration to the forestry staff working on conservation programmes.

 

It is hoped that with the continuing use of the new specialist dietary products and the improved living environment for the birds, future breeding seasons will be as successful, or better, than the results now being achieved in 2003.

 

Roger Sweeney

 

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MISCELLANY

 

Developing a new global animal information system

 

Standardised data collection and animal records are very important to the zoo and aquarium profession. Many software programmes for zoo and aquarium animal data management have been developed and distributed by the International Species Information System (ISIS). ISIS, founded in 1974, is an international non-profit member-owned organisation that serves over 580 zoological institutional members in 72 countries world-wide. But it is a small organisation that has not been able to keep pace with the technological advances in information management, and does not have the resources to ensure the accuracy of the records it receives.

 

A notable inadequacy of the current ISIS inventory software (ARKS) is that it does not track the history of group animals in much detail. Nor does it allow for storage and monitoring of data about environmental conditions. In addition, veterinarians have been working for several years to find a replacement for the DOS-based medical records system, MedARKS, and studbook keepers for the population management package, SPARKS. Hence, many zoos are currently struggling with outdated software and inconsistent records that hinder the ability to efficiently and scientifically manage the animals in our collections. This has left collections searching for alternative or additional data management strategies, and several institutions and some zoo and aquarium associations have developed their own software. For example, the Australasian Regional Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (ARAZPA) developed REGASP, software for managing institutional and regional collection planning data, which is now distributed to all ISIS member institutions, and is used by several regional associations.

 

In recent years both the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) and ISIS have been investigating the possibility of developing a global animal management database that is web-enabled and contains up-to-the-minute information that is both accurate and secure. Although the database must be flexible enough to meet specific regional needs, there must still be a central, `core' database that allows free and easy exchange of information between all participants. Concurrently, the international zoological community formed the Global Animal Data Group (GADG), an informal group of representatives from zoos, aquariums, zoological associations and conservation organisations from around the world to discuss the same topic. More recently, an International Animal Data Information Systems Committee (IADISC) was established to further the development of a global Zoological Information Management System (ZIMS). IADISC consists of scientific and/or technical experts in the care and management of zoological collections from each of the regional zoo and aquarium associations. The committee recognises the need to integrate currently widely-used animal data systems in order to include the work that has been achieved until now; so it will work closely with ISIS to achieve common goals in developing the next generation of animal information systems. IADISC is not a replacement for ISIS. ISIS is exploring a restructuring which will give it the capacity to provide expanded services to the entire zoological community in the form of ZIMS as the fifth generation of ISIS software. ISIS will continue to be the neutral administrative home for a global animal database, and all data that is stored in ISIS's global pooled database will be imported into ZIMS. Hence it is of the utmost importance that – while ZIMS is developed – ISIS and its members keep on working on all that can be reached with the current software.

 

The mission of the ZIMS Project is to develop, deploy and maintain a comprehensive information system to support a wide range of animal management and conservation activities associated with zoological institutions and the zoological community. Long-term benefits will be realised in the system that can then grow with our global needs and utilise new technology. But building any new software system is a complex process. The ZIMS Project is no exception, and is made additionally complex by the diversity of our zoological systems and of our institutional stakeholders. The project is anticipated to take several years for delivery of a software product. The first modules will deal with initial inventory and veterinary data, and will basically replace current ISIS ARKS and MedARKS software, but with significant structural improvements. Other modules will be integrated as soon as funding allows. By visiting the ZIMS website (www.zims.org) you can stay continuously informed on the progress of the project.

 

Abridged from Duncan Bolton and Frands Carlsen in EAZA News No. 41 (January–March 2003)

 

Can AI contribute to rhino conservation?

 

A group of scientists at the Berlin Institute for Zoo and Wild Animal Research have developed a new tool made of flexible carbon fibre which may help to save the northern white rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) from extinction. Dr Thomas Hildebrandt – already well-known for his work with elephants – and his colleague, Dr Robert Hermes, are waiting to find out whether a southern white rhino they inseminated at Budapest Zoo has become pregnant. Success will offer hope to the critically endangered northern subspecies. There are about 30 northern whites in the wild, in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and ten in captivity, though that includes only one potentially fertile female. But southern females, of whom there are hundreds in zoos and reserves, could be used as surrogate mothers for test-tube embryos of northern whites.

 

One of the most difficult things about inseminating rhinos is their internal physical characteristics, including a 1.5-metre reproductive tract. `The male normally mates for about an hour, which is very impressive, particularly when compared to the elephant, which lasts about 40 seconds,' says Dr Hildebrandt. Handling such animals is dangerous, so some zoos have started training programmes to make things safer for the vets, while removing the need to anaesthetise the animals for every examination – ultrasound scans are necessary to pinpoint the fertile phase of the rhino. So Hildebrandt and Hermes have been working with Disney's Animal Kingdom, Salzburg Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park in training female rhinos to accept the scanning techniques.

 

Crocodilians can swallow underwater

 

The palatal valve, in the back of a crocodilian's mouth, is a unique adaptation that seals the throat off from both air and water. With this valve shut a crocodilian can grasp food underwater and not have the water flood past into the esophagus or glottis. Essentially the inside of a crocodilian's mouth is outside its body. Crocodilians obviously prefer to keep this palatal valve closed while submerged, and come to the surface to swallow their prey. It is often assumed that crocodilians are unable to swallow food underwater, because of the overwhelming flood of water that would flow into their body. However, we have witnessed three species of crocodilian swallowing their food underwater. The first is a female freshwater crocodile (Crocodylus johnsoni) housed alone. On several occasions she has picked up pieces of meat from the bottom of the pool and proceeded to eat them without surfacing.

 

The second observation is of a female saltwater crocodile (C. porosus) housed with her mate. This female swallows both above the water and below, seeming not to have any preference for one over the other.

 

The most convincing observation has been a female false gavial (Tomistoma schlegelii). She is currently housed in a large exhibit with another female and a male. This exhibit affords visitors a complete underwater view of the entire pool through four glass panels. Soon after moving the female to this exhibit, I witnessed her taking a piece of meat to the bottom of the pool and holding it. After about five minutes, she very deliberately partially opened her mouth, then opened her palatal valve, and quickly moved her head forward and swallowed the meat. She remained in a resting position on the bottom of the pool for another ten minutes. Since she had recently come to us from Audubon Zoo, I called the reptile staff there and asked if they had witnessed this behavior. They said that they had. Apparently the male Tomistoma at this facility was in the habit of stealing her food if she surfaced with it. I have witnessed her swallowing underwater on one other occasion. I believe the behavior is being extinguished by our training efforts, as our male does not have an opportunity to steal meat from the females.

 

I reluctantly included this subject in my talk at the 2002 Crocodilian Specialist Group (CSG) working meeting. I was just sure that the crocodilian experts from around the world were going to say that this was a very well known fact. But the only reference I found is little more than guesswork on the part of the observer. Many CSG members came to me after the meeting and thanked me for mentioning this, as they too felt they had witnessed this behavior. Only one person said that they had actual video footage of a crocodilian swallowing underwater, but apparently it does happen with some frequency.

 

John Brueggen (General Curator, St Augustine Alligator Farm, Florida) in Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 38, No. 2 (2003), p. 31

 

Fevers in antelopes

 

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, recently published information on fevers in free-ranging antelopes following an intensive study of impala and springbok at the National Zoo's Lichtenburg Game Breeding Centre. Veterinarians treating a sick animal typically measure its body temperature only when they suspect that it is already ill. So nobody knows how fevers in mammals begin, how they end, or how high they get. Scientists from the university have recorded, for the first time ever, the complete pattern of natural fevers in free-ranging wild mammals.

 

The scientists were studying reactions to heat stress in antelope and recording the body temperatures of the animals used. The fevers were only discovered after analysis of the data was completed. It was found that fevers lasted for as long as ten days and the body temperatures of the antelopes often exceeded 41°C. It is not known what caused the fevers, but the animals did not appear ill and recovered without medical treatment. According to Peter Kamerman of the university's School of Physiology, these unexpected recordings of natural fevers will provide important information for veterinarians and help them to interpret the temperatures they measure when examining an animal.

 

Zoon (National Zoological Gardens of South Africa) Edition 3, 2002

 

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ANNUAL REPORTS

 

COPENHAGEN ZOO, DENMARK

Annual Report 2002 – extracts from the English language summary

 

The animal collection

 

In connection with the work of establishing an EEP for chimpanzees, we wanted to add a group of pure West African chimpanzees (P. t. verus), to the present collection. We already had a single specimen of this subspecies, the female Grinni, who came to the zoo in 1974 when she was only two years old. The West African chimpanzee may be sufficiently different from the other subspecies to be regarded as a full species. Today the size of the chimpanzee population in the wild is estimated at from 150,000 to 250,000, of which only 10,000–20,000 are West African. During the work with the European chimpanzee population survey it soon became apparent that two research laboratories in the Netherlands and Austria had a number of West African chimpanzees. Quite a number of them were born in the laboratories, but their parents were imported from Sierra Leone in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They are thus of great value to the European breeding programme, which is particularly focused on West African chimpanzees. In early June five (2.3) of these animals arrived at the zoo from the Dutch research laboratory. On their arrival the Ape Jungle was closed to the public to allow them to settle down in peace and quiet. After inspecting their new surroundings they started vocalising loudly, and our old group was quick to respond; however, the agitation soon subsided and the new group calmed down. The two groups were gradually introduced to each other, and by the end of the year most of them had been integrated into one group.

 

In December the two old hippopotamuses were euthanised to make room for Californian sea lions, Malayan tapirs and Asian elephants. Our male hippo arrived from Budapest in 1978 and the female from Hannover in 1981. Ever since, the pair has bred at regular intervals. Today hippos breed so well in captivity that it is a problem to dispose of the offspring; but it is wrong to prevent them from breeding, as parental care constitutes a great part of the hippos' behavioural repertoire. We realised that our hippopotamus exhibit was no longer up to current standards; in particular, the indoor area was too small. So the indoor pools will now be used as a breeding facility for sea lions, as experience from the existing enclosure has shown that sea lion females need to be isolated when they give birth. The Malayan tapirs are moving into the remaining part of the house, while the outdoor hippopotamus exhibit will be integrated into the new elephant exhibit. However, hippos will return to the zoo once a new, up-to-date exhibit has been built.

 

In October the female lions killed the male. Early one morning one of the females attacked him when he tried to steal a bone from her. This kind of aggression is quite common, and as the animals calmed down nobody paid further attention to the event. When the male tried a second time everything went wrong. Again one of the females attacked him, and this time the other joined in. The females got hold of his throat and before anybody could intervene he was dead – the carotid artery had been torn apart. Usually lions establish a dominance hierarchy with the male on top. This is enforced by aggressive confrontations, and the strength of the individual lion determines its rank. Our male had not yet gained control of the pride. He was brought to the zoo in autumn 2001 and joined the females in early spring the following year. He frequently tried to achieve a leading position, but without success. The females are three months older, and the difference in size undoubtedly made it more difficult for him to gain power. However, previous fights did not suggest that he would not succeed eventually. It seemed only a matter of time. So why did it go wrong? We believe it was an accident – the females did not attack to kill, only to confirm their position, but in the thick of the fight one of them bit too hard.

 

Veterinary conditions

 

The red pandas were infected with French heartworm (Angiostrongylus vasorum) by ingesting snails infested via fox faeces, and the male died before the infection was detected. The female and cub were examined and found massively infected. After an X-ray and ultrasound examination, treatment was initiated, but unfortunately the infection was so massive that no treatment could cure the lung damage, and both animals died.

 

The six-year-old male Asian elephant, Santosh, had teased the alpha female, Inda, for quite some time. One Sunday she had enough and bit the tip of Santosh's tail to pieces. A 30-centimetre length of the tip was totally crushed and had to be amputated.

 

A group of eight Malayan giant pond turtles (Orlitia borneensis) confiscated in South-east Asia, came to Copenhagen Zoo via Rotterdam Zoo [see IZN 49:4, p. 232]. The turtles were in very poor condition. Their plastrons were eroded from having been kept out of water on concrete floors. An X-ray examination revealed large fishhooks in two of them. Intensive treatment with massive doses of antibiotics and cleaning of the plastron defects was initiated. After several months, seven of the eight plastrons were in such good health that artificial hoof resin could be moulded over the healing defects and treatment concluded.

 

As part of the breeding programme for the species, Copenhagen received a male lesser Malayan mouse deer (Tragulus javanicus) from Amsterdam. In quarantine, tests showed that the animal was infected with BVD (bovine virus diarrhoea) virus. We contacted Amsterdam Zoo to try to detect the source of the virus, and it turned out that eight of eleven mouse deer from that stock were chronically infected and were shedding virus. Work has begun on an action plan to eradicate the infection in the European population.

 

A female reticulated giraffe was heavily sedated to have her fore hooves trimmed. Upon reversal of the sedation she could not control her neck and was allowed to lie down and rest. In a lateral position she suddenly regurgitated and choked. A post mortem showed that she had a broken cervical vertebra of several months' duration. Despite no clinical symptoms it was concluded that this was the cause of her balance problems when the sedation was wearing off.

 

Research

 

Behavioural studies carried out in cooperation with the Zoological Institute of the University of Copenhagen included the following:

Social interactions of a pair of golden lion tamarins. The aim of the project was to examine the possible effect of scents from other golden lion tamarins (GLTs) on a pair that had shown no breeding behaviour. At the time of the project the pair had been together for a year without breeding. The study was carried out as a controlled experiment, first recording the tamarins' behaviour without exposure to novel scents, then by providing branches that had not been near tamarins, and finally by providing climbing branches from another GLT breeding group's enclosure. The pair did not react to the fresh branches, but very clearly to the branches with the novel scent. The female in particular sniffed at the branches, and there is no doubt that GLTs can perceive novel scents. However, the branches did not stimulate any increased sexual activity. Thus there were no indications that the sexual drive was increased by the introduction of scents from conspecifics that they had no former contact with.

Stereotypies and social interaction of two giant anteaters. In early 2002 the zoo received two new giant anteaters, a male of 18 months and a female of a little under a year. At the time of the study they had been together for six months, and the object was to analyse their use of the exhibit as well as their mutual interactions. Their use of the outdoor exhibit differed greatly. The male moved about a great deal outdoors, whereas the female spent most of the time indoors. The male was more active than the female, but part of his activity could be ascribed to pacing up and down the house – the pacing decreased considerably when the female was present. Proposals were made as how to break the pattern.

Use of outdoor exhibit and stereotypies in caracal. The examination resembles the one above both as to content and form, the difference being that the group of caracals consists of five animals: an adult pair and their three (1.2) half-year-old young. The five animals use the exhibit very differently. The adult male mostly keeps to himself but is often in the front of the exhibit, whereas the adult female prefers to stay at the back with the young. The male has developed a behavioural pattern of pacing up and down along the edge of the exhibit, up to 76 times an hour. The report discusses this stereotypy, and suggestions are made as to how to change it.

Time budgets, use of exhibit and interspecific interactions between giraffe, impala and crowned crane. In spring 2002 the zoo opened a new mixed-species exhibit with five reticulated giraffes, six impalas and two East African crowned cranes. All three species proved to be very active in their new surroundings. The giraffes spent two-thirds of the time moving about foraging, while both impalas and cranes spent about half the time foraging. This is very similar to the behaviour of their counterparts in the wild. The three species prefer different areas of the exhibit, so they do not compete with each other and there are hardly any interspecific aggressions. The conclusion is that the exhibit is functioning well and satisfies the animals' needs.

Banded mongooses' use of outdoor area, activity and social relations. At the time of the study the zoo's group consisted of 1.4 animals. Two of the females had been in the enclosure since 1993 and the other two since 2000. The male also arrived in 2000 and was not related to any of the females. The mongooses'activity pattern resembled that found in the wild – i.e. they were active in the morning and afternoon and rested around midday – but the total activity level was lower, and it is suggested that it could be increased by stimulating their foraging behaviour. One of the old and one of the young females often got into fights; this was expected, as an established group of mongooses usually do not accept unfamiliar females.

Female dominance hierarchy, time budget and social structure in a ring-tailed lemur group. The major part of the observed behaviour was of a social nature – mutual grooming, close physical contact etc. – whereas they spent a limited amount of time on more demanding physical activities. There was hardly any aggression in the group and it is described as stable. The lemurs spent more than half the time on the ground, which is consistent with the situation in the wild, and they did not avoid any areas of the exhibit. The hierarchy of the group was assessed on the basis of each individual's behaviour towards the rest of the group and who rested with whom. The group consisted of three sub-groups: the old females, the one-year-old animals and finally the male, who kept much to himself.

Scent preferences of butterflies. The reactions to different scents of butterflies in the zoo's Butterfly Hall were analysed. The scents used were grape juice, lavender oil, vanilla with sandalwood and pure vanilla oil. The results showed that different butterfly species typically had different preferences. In addition, the placing of the feeders was of great importance. The report discussed the butterflies' choice of feeding places compared to their apparent scent preferences.

 

CBSG

 

On 30 September 2002 Copenhagen Zoo received an official request from the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) asking the zoo to establish and run a European office for the organisation. The object of the European office is to increase financial support for CBSG and encourage European conservation efforts in as well as outside Europe. The zoo was honoured to comply with the request and is now the official headquarters for CBSG Europe.

 

ROYAL ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA (Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoological Park)

Extracts from the Annual Report 2001/2002

 

Adelaide Zoo

 

Highlights of the year included the birth of a siamang in October 2001. This successful breeding was the result of a program started in 1997 with the arrival from San Francisco Zoo of Mang, our breeding female. She was paired with male Ulysses, who was the last siamang born at the zoo in 1987. The import of a female dusky langur from Singapore Zoo added significantly to our animal activities in the South East Asian Rainforest exhibit. She very soon became inseparable from our original pair; although not endangered in its natural habitat, this species has declined in distribution dramatically during the past decade.

 

A male Australian sea lion was born; it was mother Shara's first baby, and continues the excellent record Adelaide has in breeding this species. Shara was born at the zoo in 1997. The father, Berri, became famous when he was rescued in poor health from Victor Harbor in April 1997. He was nursed back to good health and hand-raised by staff to adulthood.

 

As part of a regional and global breeding program, the zoo acquired a male bongo from Taronga Zoo, the first to be displayed here. A female is currently being sourced from a number of institutions in the U.S.A. and Europe.

 

The arrival of two hyacinth macaws marked the first time this dramatic species had been exhibited at the zoo in more than 60 years. These two were first acquired in December 1997 as a result of a confiscation from a private breeder in Victoria under the Wildlife Protection Act, though it was only in March 2002 that court proceedings were finalised and ownership handed over to the zoo. A new interactive presentation involving rainbow lorikeets was launched in the Australian Rainforest walk-through aviary. These birds have been trained for a daily feeding presentation to the public as part of the zoo's move towards improved visitor experience; a keeper presents a talk during the feeding and provides opportunities for public interaction, and the program has proved very popular.

 

The birth of Adelaide Zoo's, and Australia's, first Aruba Island rattlesnake was a significant achievement for the Reptile Department. This critically endangered snake species from the rainforests of north-east Venezuela has been part of a captive-breeding program in North American zoos for some years, but was only first imported to Adelaide this year. The species has been extremely popular with visitors to the reptile house, and a successful hatching of a single young in June significantly added to the interest. Another pleasing result for the Department was the successful hatching of artificially incubated blood python (Python curtus) eggs. It was the first time this species has bred at the zoo, and the young proved popular when put on exhibit for the first time. Blood pythons are listed as threatened in their natural South-East Asian rainforest habitat; it is estimated that up to 200,000 are taken from the wild every year for their meat and skin.

 

Monarto Zoological Park

 

At Monarto, highlights of this extremely productive year included the arrival of nine African painted (hunting) dogs from De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust in South Africa. At the time of import, (May 2002), there were only 29 painted dogs in zoos and parks throughout Australasia, and unfortunately their blood lines were all related. The Monarto arrivals introduced vital unrelated genetic stock into the region, in a bid to assist the conservation of a species which is currently believed to be the most endangered carnivore in Africa.

 

An ambitious cheetah breeding program saw a team of more than 20 professional reproductive biologists, a sonographer, veterinary and wildlife management staff artificially inseminate Perth Zoo's female, Kitoko, with sperm from Monarto's male, Nyomfoza, during a four-hour procedure at the park in December 2001. A female cub was born at Perth Zoo in March 2002, but died one month later due to congenital birth defects, unrelated to cheetah stock held at Monarto.

 

The park continues to display the largest giraffe herd in Australasia, with the population totalling 12 at the end of June 2002. Visitors are able to view these spectacular animals in conditions similar to the wild, and were enthralled by the three giraffe births during the year. A major construction of a giraffe crush has assisted the Wildlife Management team in the organisation of this large herd.

 

In a joint project with other organisations, 50 hectares of the park have been planted in the first stage of a five-year revegetation program, the largest of its kind in the history of South Australia. More than 375,000 native trees and shrubs will be planted over the next five years, returning 250 ha of cleared and degraded land to a thriving native habitat.

 

Conservation

 

As part of a coordinated reintroduction program from the Department of Environment and Heritage, Adelaide Zoo provided seven captive-bred bush thick-knees (Burhinus grallarius) for release to a site at Venus Bay in South Australia. This nocturnal bird is threatened in some parts of its mallee and grassland habitat and has been regularly bred at the zoo over many years. It is intended that a second release will take place in the future.

 

Supervisor of Birds, Phil Digney, was seconded to undertake conservation work for Birds International on the critically endangered Seychelles magpie robin (Copsychus sechellarum) [see IZN 47 (6), p. 395]. Senior veterinarian Dr David Schultz also participated in the program, which involved the translocation of a population from one island to another. The species was on the verge of extinction only two years ago, but a successful rat eradication program [see IZN 48 (7), pp. 455–6] has seen the wild population begin to thrive.

 

Prof. Tim Flannery, Director of the South Australian Museum, launched the booklet Tenkile at a special function hosted by Adelaide Zoo. The booklet, co-authored by staff members John Gardner and Gert Skipper, highlights the importance of tree kangaroo conservation in Papua New Guinea (PNG). With text in both English and Pidgin, it will become an important educational tool to be used by local PNG communities. Its focus is on the plight of Scott's tree kangaroo (`tenkile') in particular. With fewer than 100 remaining in the wild, this species is now fighting for its survival in the mountainous rainforest habitats of PNG where it is traditionally hunted for food.

 

TIERPARK HAGENBECK, HAMBURG, GERMANY

Annual Report 2002

 

It was 120 years ago that a species – or prominent subspecies – new to zoology was first `discovered' at Hagenbeck's: the Somali wild ass. London Zoo later acquired the type specimen – Carl Hagenbeck at the time was more animal dealer than zoo director – on the stipulation that Hagenbeck provide the British Museum (Natural History) with a pair of skins from Somaliland with which a new scientific description could be corroborated. Last year another species new to science and discovered in Hamburg's Tierpark Hagenbeck was given a Linnaean name, and this one honoured the zoo in which it was found: Nausithoe hagenbecki. That's a kind of jellyfish, and as such certainly not as spectacular as a new equid would be, but the discovery did get the Tierpark into the news, and offered the media an amusing story. Apparently Hagenbeck's crown jellyfish was imported unwittingly and unseen in a shipment of corals from the East China Sea about five years ago. For two years no one noticed it, perhaps not surprising considering that the jellyfish at hand, when finally discovered, was still a polyp only two centimetres long. Gerhard Jarms of Hamburg University's Institute of Zoology knows a new jellyfish when he sees one, however – among his students and colleagues he's known as `Dr Qualle', that is `Dr Jellyfish'. With the Hagenbecks' permission (obviously) he removed the specimen from the coral aquarium in the Tierpark's Troparium in which he had discovered it, took it back to the university to better watch it grow, and only last year felt sure enough of his discovery to publish the appropriate description.

 

The only other species new to Tierpark Hagenbeck last year were 3.8 Vietnamese sika from zoos in Karlsruhe, Münster and Langenberg in Switzerland (replacing a herd of Indian axis deer in an enclosure shared with blackbuck), African yellow-billed ducks (Anas undulata) joining the red river hogs, and weedy sea-dragons (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) from the waters off south-western Australia, a spectacular addition to the Troparium with its already impressive coral tanks. The inventory, taken this year in early March, counted 2,496 animals representing 358 species (a few invertebrates in the Troparium, of course, may well have been missed again). That's the same number of species and five specimens more than were counted the year before. Attendance was estimated at 838,000 including season-pass holders not really checked off when going through the gate – an improvement over last year of a modest four per cent. The friends-of-the-Tierpark society grew by c. 10% to over 1,400 members, and was honoured in June of last year with the Hamburger Bürgerpreis, worth 1,500 euros (about the same number of US dollars or £1,000). (No, the prize has nothing to with McDonald's; the name translates as `Hamburg Citizen Prize' and is awarded annually by the local parliamentary group of the right-of-centre CDU party, which now happens to be in power in Hamburg.)

 

Mammals born in 2002 and early 2003 and successfully raised to date include 2.0 great red kangaroos, 1.0 ring-tailed lemur, 3 hamadryas baboons, 0.1.1 mandrills, 1.0 Siberian tiger (two others from the same litter died, sadly), 0.2 South American fur seals, 1.1 Brazilian tapirs, 0.1 Persian wild ass, 1.0 Chapman's zebra, 0.1 wart hog, 1.0 alpaca, 1.0 Chinese barking deer, 0.2 Vietnamese sika, 0.2 greater kudus, 1.0 bison, 7.7.1 aoudads, 1.0 Persian gazelle and, among endangered domestic breeds, 5.4 Anglia saddle-backed swine. Birds successfully bred last year include 1.1 South African ostriches, one greater, one Cuban and six Chilean flamingos, two white pelicans, two boat-billed herons (C. cochlearius), ten red ibises, two roseate spoonbills, one African woodland kingfisher (Halcyon senegalensis), two black-winged stilts (H. himantopus) and four sun conures (Aratinga solstitialis). The Troparium was birthplace to 30 sea-ponies (Hippocampus fuscus), now being bred here in the seventh generation, as well as 1.0 dwarf caiman, one mangrove rat-snake (Gonyosoma oxycephala) and seven green tree-pythons (Chondropython viridis). An Indian and a Vietnamese elephant are pregnant and expecting by August of this year.

 

The interior of the small house behind the lion grotto within the Africa Panorama had not been substantially renovated since its inauguration in 1907. Although always reasonably sufficient for the needs of the lions when in there, with its circus-waggon-like cages it long remained a reminder of the originally modest Wilhelmian (Britons would say `Victorian') standards for animals kept in the back at Hagenbeck's. Actually the Tierpark was probably quite brave to let visitors into the lion house these last decades, but now after a 100,000-euro renovation almost doubling the space provided for the animals inside, as well as modernizing the infrastructure, one of the oldest buildings in the Tierpark, if still not state-of-the-art, is at least no longer an embarrassment.

 

The only really new building completed last year was a sala, a traditional Thai royal pavilion inaugurated in late August by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, daughter of the King of Siam, and paid for by Thailand's consul general in Hamburg. Built of teak and redwood by 20 artisans in Thailand over a period of about a year, using a traditional method with neither nails nor screws, it was disassembled, shipped to Hamburg, and put back together again on the bank of a small lake within the Tierpark grounds adjacent to an old Burmese terrace built 90 years ago. Decorated by hand with perhaps 150,000 tiny gold plates, it soon attracted adolescent gold-diggers and wood-carvers carrying pen-knives, bent on perpetuating the names of their loved ones and taking home a vandalized souvenir. Within three days of its inauguration, the sala had to be closed off to the public and is now accessible only on special occasions. Even from the distance, fortunately, the sala is a beautiful reminder that exotic artistes from overseas once performed regularly at Carl Hagenbeck's Tierpark.

 

Construction work on a new main entrance across the street from the underground station began last summer. The old entrance with its bronze statues of wild animals and exotic warriors inaugurated with the Tierpark itself in 1907, surely one of the most impressive gateways to a zoo anywhere and the model for at least a few others from Japan to Peru, was considered for years to be too far away – it is out of sight of the station and the thoroughfare through which most local traffic now passes. (Actually it's only a five-minute walk from the station, but visitors have complained that they got lost looking for the way in.) The offer of a local sponsor enthusiastic about a Nepalese tower he had seen at the 2000 World's Fair in Hannover to finance a new entrance modelled after it encouraged the Tierpark to try a new face. The new gate was inaugurated in early April of this year and, well, visitors will certainly be surprised by its authenticity. Genuinely authentic Hindu towers, at least in Nepal, are apparently devoted to promoting propagation – a noble cause in any zoo. The tower at the World's Fair appears to have been a censored one, however; Hagenbeck's is complete with brightly painted, erotic wood-carvings in plain sight. Whether or not a zoo is the appropriate place to introduce children to the Kama Sutra will presumably occupy the letters page of the local newspapers in the months to come, but the new entrance does remind one not only, as the Thai sala does, of the ethnographic element that a visit to the Tierpark once entailed, but also that the original Hagenbeck menagerie had its start over 150 years ago in Hamburg's red-light district.

 

Herman Reichenbach

 

WALSRODE BIRD PARK, GERMANY

Annual Report 2002

 

Although the number of birds kept and bred at Vogelpark Walsrode was similar to that of 2001, 2002 was a rather exciting year. We had an unusually high number of first breedings, which came quite unexpectedly, because many minor changes had been carried out to enclosures in the course of the year. Small units have been combined into larger aviaries, with a more naturalistic interior matching species-specific requirements with regard to habitat preferences and social organization. Perhaps the breeding successes of 2002 are an early indication of positive stimulation caused by these changes.

 

Until the end of 2001, only two species of South American trogons had successfully been bred in captivity. Asian and African species of this group of colourful birds had never reproduced under human care. In January, a pair of Javan trogons (Apalharpactes reinwardtii) showed interest in a nest box, which we had filled with wood chips up to the top. This was the beginning of a surprisingly successful trogon breeding season. Apart from Javans, a pair each of Diard's (H. diardii) and red-headed trogons (H. erythrocephalus) bred and reared young. In addition, two pairs of white-tailed trogons (Trogon viridis), a species which we first bred in 1995, produced eggs, and four chicks grew up. [For further details, see IZN 49 (8), pp. 501–2 – Ed.] Unfortunately, we lost the female red-headed trogon as a result of egg-binding, but we now keep small groups of all four species, so that self-sustaining populations in captivity may be established of some or all of them.

 

Two pairs of banded or blue-tailed pitta (Pitta guajana) were rivals in the production of chicks, and by the end of 2002 we had reared the astounding number of 31 young banded pittas. (There were many more eggs, but a number of these were either infertile or lost, and a few young chicks disappeared.) This looks like a breakthrough in the captive management of pittas, which reproduce only sporadically in captivity.

 

Our kagus (Rhynochetos jubatus) had a long break after two more chicks had hatched at the beginning of 2002. But in November both pairs started laying again, and another chick hatched just before Christmas. [For previous kagu breeding at Walsrode, see IZN 49 (2), pp. 119–120.] Outstanding among the cranes were chicks of wattled (Bugeranus carunculatus), black-necked (Grus nigricollis) and black crowned cranes (Balearica pavonina), all species which are rarely bred in captivity.

 

In the waterfowl section, we managed to rear our first pink-eared duck (Malacorhynchus membranaceus). This unusual small Australian duck with specific feeding requirements is rather delicate, and its ducklings are particularly difficult to rear.

 

During 2002, we suffered a number of setbacks in our bird of paradise (BoP) colony. We lost both our breeding females of red and great BoPs. The king BoPs, however, produced several fertile eggs, of which four hatched, though none of the chicks were reared. Our young female superb BoP (Lophorina superba) laid two clutches of eggs, but due to her mate's age all of these were infertile.

 

After several failures in 2001, we were lucky with the white-crested hornbills (Berenicornis comatus) in 2002. One chick of this extremely rarely kept species fledged and developed into a strong male bird.

 

For the first time ever we bred golden conures and blue-headed macaws. The keas had a long period of pair-formation, but finally one pair reared two chicks, and by the end of the year this and another pair had produced fertile eggs. Another very rare parrot in captivity is Riedel's eclectus (E. roratus riedeli), of which two chicks fledged.

 

Our colony of Madagascan birds is doing extremely well, with five chicks from three different pairs of Madagascar crested ibis fledging in 2002. The crested couas had another good breeding season, though the survival rate was rather low. For the first time, a pair of sickle-billed vangas produced a clutch of four eggs, and we were lucky to rear one chick. This is a rather delicate species, and certainly it is the first vanga which has ever reproduced in captivity. New acquisitions in our Project Tsimbazaza, a programme between Parc Botanique et Zoologique de Tsimbazaza (PBZT) and Vogelpark Walsrode were, among others, long-tailed and pitta-like ground rollers (Uratelornis chimaera and Atelornis pittoides), members of an endemic family of birds, which seem to be in captivity for the first time ever. Two chicks of the former were successfully reared at PBZT, an outstanding event in our cooperation, which also includes the complete renovation of PBZT's bird centre, the training of staff, and the improvement of local conditions for the maintenance and breeding of native birds. [See further IZN 50 (2), p. 125.]

 

In total, 992 birds of 192 species were reared successfully in 2002. The total number of birds held at Walsrode on 31 December 2002 was 3,241 individuals representing 599 species and subspecies. This is an insignificant decrease in all numbers compared to 2001 (1018, 198, 3,260 and 608 respectively).

 

Dieter Rinke, Martina Müller and Bernd Marcordes

 

                                   *   *   *

 

INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS

 

Amsterdam Zoo (Artis), the Netherlands

 

A two-year-old female Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) arrived at the zoo in 1995. It appeared that the animal had never been with a male and there were no males in our collection. However, two years later, the snake laid eggs for the first time – some with embryos! She repeated this unusual feat over the next four years, so the suspicion remained that she had in fact mated with a male at a very young age and had fertilised her eggs using stored sperm.

 

It is known that many types of reptile can store sperm in their bodies for years after mating, but five years seemed unusually long. A second possibility, `virgin birth' or parthenogenesis, was known in a few snake species, but never in Boidae. In order to rule out this option and to secure a record for the longest sperm storage, Tom Groot from the University of Amsterdam was asked to investigate the situation.

 

Female snakes have two different sex chromosomes: WZ. Males have two sex chromosomes of the same type: ZZ. During normal reproduction the W egg cells and Z egg cells developed in a female fuse with a Z sperm from a male, producing WZ (female) and/or ZZ (male) offspring. As far as we know, during parthenogenesis the W and Z cells individually double during meiosis, giving rise to WW and ZZ cells. Only ZZ cells can grow to become viable (male) embryos.

 

Tom Groot examined the DNA from both the mother snake and her embryos, using the so-called AFLP method, in which 692 different genetic markers are employed. He demonstrated that the embryos contained genetic material from the mother only, so that one could indeed talk of parthenogenesis in this python. The embryos were sexed and it appeared that they were all female, while normal parthenogenesis in snakes should yield only males. According to Groot, it seems that in this case the WZ precursor to the egg cell is doubling itself to WWZZ before meiosis begins, and only then splitting into WZ egg cells. In other words, this snake is producing daughters identical to herself – clones! This type of parthenogenetic reproduction in snakes is completely new.

 

We have never incubated the python eggs because there is no demand for Burmese pythons in other zoos. As this might change following the above-mentioned research, we will attempt to hatch any eggs laid in 2003. We will then keep a number of hatchlings, in order to establish whether the offspring are as healthy as their mother – and whether they too in time can reproduce parthenogenetically.

 

Eugene Bruins in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)

 

Belfast Zoo, Northern Ireland, U.K.

 

The zoo has been successfully managing and breeding Malayan tapirs in recent years. Despite being quite large mammals, the tapirs have proved to be rather shy and reclusive, and they are often difficult to observe during the day. While closed-circuit TV cameras have been installed in the Ark Café, with a live link to the tapir dens to give visitors a better chance to observe the animals, it is rare for visitors to see them `in the flesh'. However, perhaps the main reason we are doing so well with them is that they are given free access to their secluded house at all times and are therefore not necessarily constantly on show to the public.

 

Our female, Gladys, arrived on breeding loan from Toronto Zoo in October 1994. Following a global search for a suitable male, and despite a great scarcity of mature male Malayan tapirs in zoos, in May 1995 a five-year-old male, Elmer, was generously loaned to us by Mulhouse Zoo, France. Despite having a reputation for incompatibility, our newly-formed pair mixed together extremely well. Since their first introduction, our breeding of Malayan tapirs has been impressive, with three calves successfully bred and reared in the ensuing years.

 

Their first surviving calf, called Harley, was born in December 1996, and developed well, even though a health scare when she was three weeks old required round-the-clock attention from our staff and vets. Under the terms of our loan agreements for the adult pair, Harley was actually owned by Toronto Zoo, so she left Belfast for Toronto in December 1998.

 

Another female calf, Tumpat, born in June 2001, was owned by Mulhouse Zoo, and moved to Amsterdam in September last year. Gladys's third surviving calf, another female, was born in November last year, and has been called Aya.

 

With fewer than 50 Malayan tapirs in European zoos and a global captive population of about 150 animals, Belfast's tapirs represent one of the zoo's rarest and most valuable species. There are only a handful of births of this species globally each year; only three were recorded in European zoos in 2001, one of which was Tumpat, and three again in Europe in 2002, one of which was Aya. The EEP for Malayan tapirs is co-ordinated by Nuremberg Zoo in Germany, and the programme is gradually making progress towards developing a self-sustaining European population of this endangered species. Belfast Zoo continues to play an active and leading role within this programme.

 

Abridged from Mark Challis in Zoo Crack No. 53 (Spring 2003)

 

Breeding Centre for Endangered Arabian Wildlife, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

 

The first litter of cheetah cubs ever bred at a government-funded public institution in the Arabian Peninsula was born at the Centre on 1 December 2002. The parents of the four (2.2) cubs were wild-caught in Sudan/Somalia and illegally imported into the UAE as young cubs. The Breeding Centre has received 36 North African cubs confiscated by officials at various UAE entry ports between 1998 and 2001. All cheetahs held at the Centre are included in the Cheetah EEP coordinated by Sean McKeown. They can play an important role in the future health of the international captive population, as they are all potentially new founders.

 

Jane Edmonds in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)

 

Bristol Zoo, U.K.

 

Albino animals occur naturally in most species, though often very rarely. The chance that both parents in a genetically diverse population carry the defective gene are small, and then there is just a 25% chance that any one youngster will inherit the defective gene from both parents.

 

Knowing this, imagine the surprise that Nigel Simpson, overseer of birds at Bristol Zoo, felt when he first saw a white chick, not the normal black downy lump he was expecting, while inspecting newly-hatched African penguin chicks in the `Penguin Coasts' exhibit. A few days later it was confirmed that the chick had red eyes and that it indeed was an albino, its sibling being normal. Enquiries with colleagues in South Africa indicated that albino African penguins have been seen in the wild, but very rarely. The chances are estimated at less than one in every hundred thousand hatched. Neither the EEP coordinator for African penguins nor the EAZA Penguin TAG chair had ever heard of an albino penguin in captivity.

 

Before its hatching we were not aware that the defective albino gene was present in the European population, let alone at Bristol. Its parents paired up naturally, selecting each other, and if they remain paired in future years may well produce further albino chicks. If this is the case, we may be requested to separate the pair to avoid producing more abnormal chicks.

 

Duncan Bolton in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)

 

Colchester Zoo, U.K.

 

On 6 December 2002 a male African elephant was born at the zoo. Both mother Tanya and her male offspring Kito are doing well. Kito is now spending regular times with the other female elephants at the zoo's `Elephant Kingdom' exhibit. He has been steadily putting on weight and weighed 146 kg on 3 April 2003. Tanya is receiving a supplement to her diet which is especially designed for lactating female elephants. She is also being given lucerne as well as her usual hay and extra cabbages.

 

It has been confirmed that Zola and Rosa, two other African elephants at Colchester, are pregnant. Zola is due to have a calf in December 2003 and Rosa around Easter 2004. Both females became pregnant after natural matings with our bull Tembo, unlike Tanya, who was the first elephant in the world to become pregnant through just one artificial insemination. Tembo had previously `proved himself' with Sabi, a female at Schönbrunn Zoo, who successfully gave birth after being artificially inseminated with his sperm [see IZN 48 (7), 424–429].

 

Important new arrivals during the last few months of 2002 were a pair of aardvarks, a male from Antwerp and a female from Burgers' Zoo, Arnhem. This is the last unrelated pair available through the Aardvark ESB, so we really hope to have breeding success.

 

Anthony Tropeano in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)

 

Denver Zoo, Colorado, U.S.A.

 

The zoo recently acquired a pair of southern tamanduas (Tamandua tetradactyla), a species not abundantly found in zoos. One of the challenges facing us is the ability to feed a nutritionally balanced diet, since providing a steady supply of ants and termites is impossible. When feeding, we need to consider the size and type of food offered. Tamanduas' mouth opening is only the diameter of a pencil, they have no teeth, and everything they ingest is ground up in a muscular gizzard which is a part of the stomach. So, we feed a gruel of honey, water, ground-up cat food, and leafeater biscuits. This is supplemented with live food – waxworms, mealworms, and crickets. We also try to supply enrichment to keep them mentally stimulated, and activities that let them use their natural abilities to sniff out insects and rip things apart. These activities include digging and sniffing through bark mulch or hay, hollow or rotten logs to sleep in or rip apart, and boxes with bugs inside to probe and plunder. Living in the dry desert-type climate of Colorado presents another challenge, that of providing enough humidity so that their feet and skin do not crack. They need at least 50% humidity, so we are limited in which buildings or areas we can house them.

 

Our tamanduas are living in the Emerald Forest building in Primate Panorama; they share their home with a family of golden lion tamarins, who are learning to adjust to their new room-mates. We currently have a parent-raised ten-month-old female who arrived from Sedgwick County Zoo, Kansas, and a one-and-a-half-year-old, hand-raised male from Dallas World Aquarium, Texas. We are hopeful that – after a five-month gestation – she will have a baby sometime this summer. Tamanduas give birth to a single young which the mother carries on her back. The males have no part in rearing their offspring. At four to five months of age the young is weaned and feeds and fends for itself.

 

Abridged from Ann Zobrist in The Zoo Review (Spring 2003)

 

John G. Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

 

Two of Shedd's Pacific white-sided dolphins (Lagenorhynchus obliquidens) are pregnant as a result of artificial insemination (AI) through a collaborative effort by Shedd Aquarium, the National Zoo's Conservation and Research Center and SeaWorld. This is one of the first successful AI procedures with this species, and a first for Shedd. The calves are due in mid-October.

 

SeaWorld veterinarians and researchers, led by Dr Todd Robeck, pioneered this procedure in cetaceans. `Only in the last few years have we learned enough about marine mammals' reproductive physiology to achieve this medical milestone,' says Ken Ramirez, Shedd's vice president of marine mammal programs and animal training. `When SeaWorld wanted to apply its techniques to Pacific white-sided dolphins, they immediately talked with us. Shedd and SeaWorld are two of only three facilities in the United States that have this species, and we have worked together already with the beluga whale breeding cooperative. It was a natural partnership for this important project.'

 

Artificial insemination has been successful in many terrestrial animals. But AI technology for marine mammals, like veterinary medicine in general for this group, is a new field. Robeck, who is corporate director of theriogenology (veterinary reproductive medicine) for Busch Entertainment Corporation, SeaWorld's parent company, is the only veterinarian in the world who specializes in the reproductive physiology of whales and dolphins. He has spent 15 years studying reproductive anatomy, endocrinology and sperm cryobiology in bottle-nosed dolphins, killer whales and Pacific white-sided dolphins.

 

Shedd's marine mammal training program contributed to the success of this procedure. During the dolphins' daily training sessions, they have learned to participate in a variety of health care activities, including blood sampling and ultrasound exams, which are critical to monitoring the animals' ovulation cycles. But to determine the precise time to inseminate, animal-care and veterinary staff had to collect daily urine samples from all five females – a cued training process that took some time to perfect. The semen was collected – also using a cued behavior – from a male at an international aquarium. It was then cryopreserved, or frozen, and flown to Shedd in a special shipping container after urinary endocrine analysis and ultrasound imaging indicated that two of the five females were ready to ovulate.

 

The two pregnant dolphins, Tique and Kri, are both about 18 years old. (Like all of Shedd's dolphins, their names reflect the languages of Pacific Northwest Indians.) They are about halfway into the approximately 12-month gestation period. This is the first pregnancy for Kri and the second for Tique, who had a stillborn calf in 1995.

 

Only a few Pacific white-sided dolphin calves have been born in aquariums and zoos, says Dr Marty Greenwell, director of veterinary services, `and our knowledge of that process is in its infancy. As with all cetaceans, in the wild and in zoological organizations, these first- and second-time pregnancies carry risks that the mothers might lose their calves before or just after birth. So while we are optimistic about the pregnancies, we have to be realistic about the chances for successful births.' But so far, regular ultrasound exams show active fetal calves, and both females are doing well.

 

Aquarium guests will continue to see the pregnant dolphins in the daily behavioral presentations. `The best thing for the moms-to-be is to keep their activity levels consistent,' explains Ramirez. `Our top priority is the health and safety of these animals, and the presentations provide physical and mental stimulation for the dolphins. At the same time, they give our animal-care staff regular opportunities to observe and interact with them.'

 

With fewer than 20 Pacific white-sided dolphins in U.S. aquariums and zoos – and all but two of them females – AI offers new opportunities for a cooperative breeding program. This successful procedure represents one of the first pregnancies in any marine mammal using semen imported from another country, thus increasing the genetic diversity of the population of this species in U.S. zoos and aquariums.

 

Abridged from WaterShedd Vol. 24, No. 2 (Spring 2003)

 

Lisbon Zoo, Portugal

 

Eggs believed to be from toucans and originally brought from Salvador, Brazil, were confiscated by customs at Lisbon airport in October 2002. All of the 44 eggs brought to Lisbon Zoo were examined and appeared to be fertile, but in different stages of development. Of these, 37 were apparently intact, three were cracked and four were totally broken. The eggs were placed in an incubator set at the relative humidity, temperature levels and turning frequency recommended by experts for toucan eggs. The keepers carefully monitored all the incubation parameters, as well as the temperature of the incubation room at the bird breeding centre. It is worth mentioning that the police came to the zoo and inspected every discarded egg, looking for drugs, i.e. cocaine.

 

The first egg hatched two days after being placed in the incubator. The chick weighed 16 g, and a few hours later another hatched, weighing 14 g. In the following three days five more chicks hatched, with weights between 12 and 16 g; these were the last hatchings. The newly hatched chicks were placed in brooders, with environmental parameters adjusted according to the birds' developmental stage. After some research there was no doubt that all the chicks belonged to the genus Ramphastos.

 

With the cooperation of specialists from other zoos, a diet was established and adapted according to the chicks' growth. Quality, quantity, consistency and frequency of feedings were adjusted according to the chicks' responses and their development. Weight, various body measurements and other important developments were recorded on a daily basis during the rearing period. Five of the seven chicks that hatched died due to infections and dehydration problems.

 

In the surviving two chicks, feather eruption in the wings began after the second week, and in the tail during the third week. They opened their eyes at the beginning of the fourth week, and during the sixth and seventh week they were totally covered with feathers. They were removed from the brooders during the sixth week and placed in small cages with many enrichment devices for perching and playing. Food was also left in the cages to encourage the birds to start eating by themselves. The chicks were very active in the seventh week, jumping and flying. Their appetite was greatly reduced and they stopped begging. They were allowed open air and sun in their cage from nine weeks of age.

 

We learned a lot from this experience and were able to understand many of the things that went wrong. The transport of the smuggled eggs probably resulted in excessive vibrations and sudden changes of temperature that could have been critical, particularly to less-developed eggs. The zoo was not able to immediately provide ideal conditions, as the eggs were received after the `normal' breeding season. For example, the incubator was not tested prior to receipt of the eggs, and it was very inconsistent in its performance. Cracks and holes found in some eggs when they were candled probably contributed to the death of the embryos, possibly because of infectious processes. These eggs have not yet been examined internally because we still need permission from the authorities that confiscated the eggs.

 

Margarida Barão da Cunha, Eric Bairrão Ruivo and Sónia Matias in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)

 

Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

 

The cockatoos are among the first species to start laying at the beginning of the year. In autumn, the nest boxes of the white cockatoos are usually taken out of the aviaries to be cleaned, and only when the new breeding season sets in are they returned into the aviaries. After that, it is usually only a few days before the first eggs are recorded, the Major Mitchell's cockatoos (Cacatua leadbeateri) being the first to breed – by the end of March, five chicks had hatched from two pairs of this species. Other Cacatua taxa who started reproducing that month were Moluccan, sulphur-crested, triton, eleonora, lesser sulphur-crested, citron-crested, Abbott's sulphur-crested and blue-eyed cockatoos, and slender-billed, long-billed and short-billed corellas.

 

The whose most settled breeding pair of speckle-faced parrots (Pionus tumultuosus) laid a clutch in March. Since this species is rather uncommon in captivity, Loro Parque Foundation is very much interested in exchanging young ones with other breeders to bring in fresh bloodlines.

 

Two new taxa were added to the collection in April. We obtained three pairs of the New Caledonian lorikeet (Trichoglossus haematodus deplanchii) from a French breeder and three Burmese blossom-headed parakeets (Psittacula roseata juneae) from a German breeder.

 

The amazon species had a very promising start to the season, with 11 species producing over 30 chicks by the end of April. Among these were less-common species such as yellow-faced and vinaceous amazons (A. xanthops and A. vinacea). An unexpected surprise was the hatching of Salvin's amazons (A. autumnalis salvini) and Roatán amazons (A. auropalliata caribaea) after a long break.

 

Two eggs of a pair of blue-crowned lories (Vini australis) were transferred to an incubator after the parents repeatedly destroyed their clutches. The chicks hatched with a weight of a mere two grams and are being looked after by a keepers who feeds them every two hours – otherwise, they wouldn't have a chance to survive. The chicks are growing satisfactorily and, after two weeks, had already reached a body weight of 10 g.

 

Right on time for the Easter season, our latest attraction was inaugurated – the largest group of Atlantic puffins to be found in a European zoo. Last year, Loro Parque obtained official permission from the Icelandic government to remove chicks from the nest holes to use them for a research and education project in Tenerife. To date, little is known about the keeping of these animals in captivity. Many months have passed since the expedition to Iceland, and the chicks have turned into strong subadult birds, so the time has finally come to transfer them to their new enclosure, which closely resembles their natural habitat in Iceland. They obviously enjoy their new home and are proving to be very active swimmers; they may be observed both in and out of the water – a unique experience which makes everybody's heart beat faster.

 

Abridged from the reports for March and April 2003 compiled by Matthias Reinschmidt, Curator, Loro Parque

 

Melbourne Zoo, Victoria, Australia

 

After two years of negotiation and planning, a group of six (3.3) young Philippine crocodiles (Crocodylus mindorensis) were imported to the zoo from the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Centre (PWRCC) in the western Philippines in early November 2002. The animals were transferred under the auspices of a Memorandum of Agreement between Melbourne Zoo and the Philippines Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and were captive-bred at the PWRCC from parents originating in Mindanao island.

 

Unfortunately, three (2.1) of the crocodiles died from accumulated stress within ten days of arriving in Melbourne. This species is known for the intragroup aggression that can occur at almost any age, making it a potentially problematic species to maintain in urban zoos. Despite this setback, the remaining animals have now settled in well in individual housing, and provide the foundation for a regional captive population to support in situ efforts across the Philippines.

 

Chris Banks in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 57 (February 2003)

 

Monkey World, Dorset, U.K.

 

On 19 February 2003 Jim and Alison Cronin returned to Monkey World from Spain with the last beach photographer's chimpanzee. His name is Alberto and we estimate that he was smuggled into Spain as an infant in 1988 or 1989. His first owner was a photographer who used Alberto as a prop to entice tourists to have their photo taken with the cute baby. As it happened, however, Monkey World had just started a proactive campaign with the Spanish authorities and Simon and Peggy Templer, an expatriate couple who had started rescuing chimps many years earlier. So it was not long before the Guardia Civil went after Alberto's owner and told him that he would have to stop working the chimp or be arrested. The man promised not to use the chimp for photography, or any other financial purpose, but wanted to keep him as a pet. The authorities agreed, and Alberto lived with the photographer and his wife for another eight years until the day the photographer died. Not knowing what to do, the wife took Alberto to a dog and cat shelter outside Barcelona, and here he stayed, living on his own for six years.

 

Monkey World first learned about Alberto a few months ago. Conditions in the animal shelter were not suitable for an adult male chimpanzee, and he had no companionship of his own kind. Permission had been granted by the Spanish authorities for him to be moved to a new home. Thus, it was just a case of organising the correct permits from the British Ministry of Agriculture for Alberto to come to Britain.

 

Prior to moving him, Jim and Alison made an initial trip to Spain to meet Alberto and assess his character. He turned out to be very friendly, enjoyed playing with people, and appeared to be quite well adjusted considering his Spartan living conditions. Next, Barcelona Zoo's veterinarian, Jesus Fernandez, gave Alberto a medical check. Over the years, Barcelona Zoo has been instrumental in organising all of the paper work and veterinary expertise to move 29 chimps from Spain to Monkey World. With the tests all clear and the paper work complete, Alberto was ready to move.

 

Once at the park, he was settled into several specially-prepared rooms with extra shelving, hammocks, fire hoses and toys to keep the newcomer occupied. At 15 years old and having never lived with any other chimpanzees since he was stolen from his mother in the forests of Africa, it was unlikely that Alberto would get along with our ten other bachelor chimps straight away. After trying introductions with several of them through a dividing mesh, we have decided that Sammy is the best individual to start him off with. Day after day we have been letting the two males sit alongside each other for a few hours, and Alberto's behaviour has got calmer. His rehabilitation is going to take a long time, but this much we expected. We are confident that he has a very nice character and that soon he will be as friendly to chimps as he is with humans.

 

Abridged from Ape Rescue Chronicle No. 23 (Spring 2003)

 

National Zoological Gardens, Pretoria, South Africa

 

One of the National Zoo's veterinarians, Dr Leon Venter, was approached by the University of Pretoria's Veterinary Faculty at Onderstepoort to assist with the treatment of a sick cheetah. The animal, a male between one and two years old from De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Trust, was suffering from severe abdominal pain and a distended abdomen, and had collapsed due to circulatory shock. The young cheetah was stabilized with intravenous fluids and colloids, while veterinary staff at Onderstepoort performed a clinical examination and diagnostic imaging. Based on these findings, it was decided that the best option would be to perform an exploratory laparotomy (surgical opening and evaluation of the abdomen). During this procedure, a large, ruptured stomach ulcer was detected that required the resection of the affected part of the stomach. The cheetah then needed plasma due to a very low blood protein concentration.

 

Veterinarians at Onderstepoort contacted Dr Venter to try to obtain some urgently needed blood for the cheetah. The director of the National Zoo, Willie Labuschagne, gave permission for one of the zoo's cheetahs to be immobilised and have the blood drawn. A total of 600 ml of blood was drawn from the animal and rushed to Onderstepoort. From this blood, 200 ml of plasma was obtained, which was then transfused into the patient. After two hours of surgery, the cheetah was monitored overnight and then taken back to De Wildt, where he made a full recovery.

 

The procedure was a first for the National Zoo as well as for Dr Venter. `It took about 40 minutes for us to draw the amount of blood needed,' he says. `The cheetah we drew the blood from recuperated well after the procedure and was taken back to its enclosure the following day.'

 

Zoon Edition 3, 2002

 

Riverbanks Zoological Park, Columbia, South Carolina, U.S.A.

 

Births and hatchings during the period January to March 2003 were as follows: 2 blue-winged motmot, 12 African spurred tortoise, 1 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 3 Henkel's leaf-tailed gecko, 1 yellow-throated day gecko. The following were acquired during the same period: 2 siamang, 2 fishing cat, 1 parma wallaby, 3 masked plover, 1 red-vented cockatoo, 2 toco toucan, 2 keel-billed toucan, 1 emerald tree boa, 2 giant leaf-tailed gecko, 1 flat-tailed gecko.

 

Susan Reno, Registrar

 

Rotterdam Zoo, the Netherlands

 

Rotterdam Zoo has a policy of supporting conservation projects for a cross-section of species or their habitats for which new exhibits are developed. As a high-profile species with conservation issues, the king penguin was a good candidate for support in connection with the opening of our king penguin exhibit in June 2001 [see IZN 49 (7), pp. 434–5]. We contacted the organisation Falklands Conservation, established by Peter Scott to help protect Falkland wildlife. They had a valuable project in need of funding – protection of the largest king penguin colony in the Falklands Islands (500+ breeding pairs in 2000/2001), at Volunteer Point.

 

King penguins were exterminated in the Falklands in the early 1900s through trade in their oil, but now they have made a come-back, as have other penguin species. Hundreds of Magellanic penguins and gentoo penguins also now breed at Volunteer Point, and gentoos are resident year-round. A number of other birds also use the area, which is a private nature reserve, part of Johnson's Harbour Farm, which runs 15,000 sheep and was established in 1870 by the family which still owns it. Volunteer Point is closed throughout the southern winter, but is opened to the public during most of the king penguin breeding season. No control of visitor access and behaviour was in place prior to 2001, and as the king penguin colony is a popular tourist site, there was concern about the impact of visitors, especially military personnel stationed in the area. The landowners were open to the idea of offering the penguins some protection, so plans were made and funding from Rotterdam Zoo helped to make it possible to carry these out.

 

In October 2001, a car-parking area was roped-off 300 metres from the colony and a ring of white rocks was arranged around the king and gentoo colonies at a distance of six metres from the nearest nests. (Positions of the rocks were changed as the colony size changed.) A small caravan was purchased to house a voluntary warden during the tourist season, extending from November to March. Free pamphlets with information on the site, penguins and appropriate visitor behaviour, and three interpretation boards with detailed information on the site, were made. A total of 1,033 people visited the site during the 2001/2002 tourist season. While many of them (60%) were with guided tours, the tour leaders provided little information on appropriate visitor behaviour and respect for control measures. Fortunately visitors responded well to the restrictions explained by the wardens, giving them time to provide some information on the environment and to collect and evaluate beach trash. Little information was then available on the nesting of the three species in Falkland colonies, and biological data collected by the two wardens (also biologists) is resulting in several publications. This progress encouraged us to lend support to continue the project, and an auction held during an evening devoted to the Rotterdam Zoo `business circle' – a group of companies that financially aid developments at the zoo – raised 15,070 euros, more than enough money to finance the second season.

 

Attractive and informative materials on Falkland Islands conservation can be viewed at www.falklands-nature.demon.co.uk.

 

Abridged from Cathy King in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)

 

St Louis Zoo, Missouri, U.S.A.

 

The zoo's new exhibit `Penguin and Puffin Coast' opened on 23 May 2003. It features two large domed indoor rockscapes with rugged coastlines, complete with underwater viewing of these oceanic birds, plus a rocky outdoor enclosure. The innovative open-air design will allow the public a close-up experience with the birds – only a 40-inch-high [one-meter] glass barrier separates visitors from residents.

 

The indoor exhibits have climate-controlled environments maintained at 45°F [7°C]. A barrel-vault fabric ceiling is lit indirectly with colored gels, simulating a polar sunrise and sunset. Direct lighting concealed in the rockwork provides full-spectrum light important for bird growth and breeding cycles.

 

Approximately 80 penguins and 30 puffins call this new habitat home. About 20 Humboldt penguins share an outdoor area, the Jones Family Humboldt Haven, with two brown pelicans. Here a 22-foot [6.5-m] waterfall plunges into a pool; above, six nesting chambers are carved into the face of a craggy rock. Windswept grasses jut out along the stony shore, and ambient sounds of terns, cormorants, gulls and sea lions add to the visitors' experience.

 

The Lichtenstein Penguin Cove, the first walk-through subantarctic penguin exhibit in North America, allows visitors to watch gentoo, rockhopper and king penguins both on land and under water in a climate-controlled indoor habitat. Two species of puffin – horned and tufted – from the northern Pacific will debut in St Louis for the first time at the Taylor Family Puffin Bay.

 

The birds in Penguin and Puffin Coast are on interzoo loan from SeaWorld Orlando, SeaWorld San Antonio, SeaWorld San Diego, North Carolina Zoo, Cincinnati Zoo, Six Flags Ohio, Columbus Zoo, Moody Gardens, Brookfield Zoo and Niagara Falls Aquarium.

 

Abridged from St Louis Zoo press releases

 

Twycross Zoo, U.K.

 

Twycross has been keeping bonobos since March 1992. The animals arrived on loan from Stuttgart, Cologne, Leipzig and Wuppertal Zoos with the objective of starting a new breeding group as part of the EEP, and Twycross is the only zoo in the U.K. currently holding this species.

 

To date we have had a total of six (4.2) births. Of these, one young did not survive, two are being hand-reared and the other three are still within the group. The male Keke was the first born (2 January 1994) to Diatou, the most dominant female in the group. She has proved to be a very good parent and has reared (and is rearing) all three of her offspring. Female Yasa was born on 27 August 1997 and male Lou on 1 December 2002.

 

We have not been so lucky with two of the other females. Kichele gave birth to a still-born baby on 14 January 2000. Banya has given birth to two young, but unfortunately these have had to be hand-reared. In both cases she looked as though she might rear the baby, but she has a very low social standing within the group and the dominant female took the baby from her. Staff intervened on both occasions and subsequently gave her the youngsters back, but she then ignored them. Female Kaya (born 19 October 2001) and male Banbo (3 September 2001) are being reared together and are exposed to the other bonobos on a daily basis so that reintegration to the group should be possible.

 

John Ray in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)

 

News in brief

 

There have recently been some changes to the elephant population at Tierpark Berlin. Two Asian cows, Nova and Cynthia, have arrived from Halle Zoo. Both are of the Sumatran subspecies, and were born at Taman Safari Indonesia, Bogor, Java, on 26 November 1993 and 21 January 1995 respectively.

 

On 28 April 2003, the African bull Tutume, born at the Tierpark on 9 April 1999 [see IZN 46 (4), 247], went on breeding loan to Osnabrück Zoo, where he is living with two adult African cows.

 

Dr Bernhard Blaszkiewitz

 

                               *   *   *   *   *

Asian pied hornbills (Anthracoceros a. albirostris) are breeding again at Vogelpark Heppenheim, Germany [see IZN 48 (2), 89–90, and 49 (5), 270–271]. The female is now sealed in, and images from an infra-red camera installed in the nest can be viewed on the park's website at www.vogelpark-heppenheim.de.

 

                               *   *   *   *   *

Following the publication of the novel Life of Pi by the Canadian writer Yann Martel [see review, IZN 50 (2), 105–7], city leaders in Pondicherry, India, are planning to build a zoo. Important early scenes in the book are set in a fictitious Pondicherry zoo, and officials hope the creation of a real one would help to bring tourists to the city.

 

                                   *   *   *

 

RECENT ARTICLES

 

Agoramoorthy, G., and Harrison, B.: Ethics and animal welfare evaluations in South East Asian zoos: a case study of Thailand. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science Vol. 5, No. 1 (2002), pp. 1–13. [The study of three zoos in Thailand identified several major and minor welfare problems and provided constructive suggestions to zoo authorities, which in turn significantly improved the standards of animal welfare. The data presented could serve as a model for other zoos and zoo associations to follow when evaluating animal welfare locally, regionally and globally.]

Baker, W.K.: What do you prefer and recommend in regards to transportation in a crisis situation, vehicle or on foot? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 444–445.

Bashaw, M.J., Bloomsmith, M.A., Marr, M.J., and Maple, T.L.: To hunt or not to hunt? A feeding enrichment experiment with captive large felids. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp. 189–198. [The authors evaluated the effectiveness of two different feeding enrichment techniques on 1.2 lions and 1.1 tigers at Zoo Atlanta, Georgia. The activity budgets of each cat were compared before, during, and after enrichment, focusing on activity levels, frequency and variety of feeding behaviors, and occurrence of stereotypic behaviors. The presentation of live fish increased the variety and frequency of feeding behaviors, while presentation of horse leg bones increased the frequency of these behaviors. Fish reduced the tigers' stereotypic behavior by half on the day of presentation, and this change was maintained for two days following enrichment. Bone presentation also reduced stereotypic behavior and increased non-stereotypic activity in both species. Both of these techniques appear to have sustained effects on behavior lasting at least two days after presentation, which may indicate their ability to alter the animals' underlying activity patterns.]

Benesch, A.R., and Hilsberg, S.: Infrarot-thermographische Untersuchungen der Oberflächentemperatur bei Zebras. (An infra-red thermographic study of surface temperature in zebras.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 2 (2003), pp. 74–82. [German, with English summary. Since the coat pattern in zebras is rich in colour contrasts, surface temperatures of animals standing in the sun are heterogenous: the black stripes are warmer than the white ones. Using an infrared camera the authors were able to make these differences visible and measure them. Their thermograms show that the temperature distribution reflects the colour pattern of the zebra highly accurately. Although the absolute surface temperature is influenced by several factors, they show that the difference between black and white stripes increases with increasing air temperature. A different picture emerges at night or inside a stable out of the sunlight: the temperature still differs between black and white stripes, but in this case the black stripes are cooler than the white ones.]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Der Tierkinderzoo im Tierpark Berlin – Umbau und Entwicklung im letzten Jahrzehnt. (The children's zoo at Tierpark Berlin – alterations and development in the last ten years.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 2 (2003), pp. 83–92. [German, with English summary. Since 1992 additions to the children's zoo have included a contact enclosure, aviaries for budgerigars, cockatiels and canaries, two ponds for domestic waterfowl and two enclosures for domestic pig breeds.]

Bousquet, J.L.: Behavior-based animal care program. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 489–499.

Brandl, P., and Zdánský, M.: Setting up a breeding group of gorillas in the new pavilion of Prague Zoo. Gazella Vol. 29 (2002), pp. 22–26. [English summary of article in Czech.]

Carrier, J.C., Murru, F.L., Walsh, M.T., and Pratt, H.L., Jr.: Assessing reproductive potential and gestation in nurse sharks (Ginglymostoma cirratum) using ultrasonography and endoscopy: an example of bridging the gap between field research and captive studies. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp. 179–187. [Although several species of large sharks have successfully mated and given birth in captivity, few captive studies have systematically studied the behavioral interactions and reproductive physiology of mating animals. Similarly, comprehensive field studies of the reproductive behavior and biology of large sharks are rare. The most complete study to date suggested that behaviors noted in captive animals often differ significantly from those of wild populations. Field studies of natural behaviors such as courtship and mating are usually limited in scope because the sharks cannot be observed through time; they cannot provide even the most basic information, such as the duration of gestation, and the physiological changes that accompany pregnancy are not discernible. For the past 11 years, the reproductive behavior of a wild population of nurse sharks has been systematically studied, and 189 individuals are readily recognizable by unique tags and/or scar patterns. Although this study revealed the mechanics of mating and copulation, and the complex behaviors associated with mating, it was impossible to directly measure gestation period or evaluate paternity. So a collaborative project was initiated with SeaWorld, Orlando, Florida, to capture actively mating females at the study site and transport them to Orlando, where they were held and monitored throughout gestation. (They were later returned with their surviving offspring to the study area.) Gestation was determined to be a minimum of 131 days, multiple paternity was shown for two individual litters, and ultrasonography and endoscopy were shown to be useful adjuncts for assessing pregnancy and monitoring gestation in this species.]

Crofoot, M., Mace, M., Azua, J., MacDonald, E., and Czekala, N.M.: Reproductive assessment of the great hornbill (Buceros bicornis) by fecal hormone analysis. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp. 135–145. [The population of great hornbills in the U.S.A. is rapidly aging, and captive-breeding efforts have not met population managers' expectations for a sustainable captive group. Little is known about the reproductive physiology of these birds. This study reports the first data on the reproductive endocrinology of the species. The hormone profiles of the only pair that hatched a chick in the 1999–2000 breeding season (at San Diego Wild Animal Park) are compared to the profiles of six other pairs of hornbills, from several U.S. institutions, who did not reproduce successfully that season. The study investigates the estradiol, corticosterone, and testosterone profiles of these seven pairs, establishing a base of knowledge from which endocrine data may be used to improve the success of captive-breeding programs. The estradiol profiles indicate a difference in hormonal patterns between laying and non-laying females. Egg-laying females had significantly higher estradiol concentrations during the breeding season than non-laying females. Testosterone concentrations of the males were not significantly different between the mates of egg-laying and non-egg-laying females. The corticosterone concentrations tended to be lower in the females that laid eggs than in the non-egg-laying group. The males of the egg-laying pairs showed a significantly lower corticosterone concentration than the males of non-egg-laying pairs. This, combined with the extremely low corticosterone levels (compared to the other birds in the study) of the pair that hatched a chick, suggests that adrenal activity may play a role in the reproductive failure of some captive great hornbills.]

Culík, L.: History of breeding of giraffes in Czech and Slovak Republic. Gazella Vol. 29 (2002), pp. 75–83. [English summary of article in Czech.]

De Vleeschouwer, K., Leus, K., and Van Elsacker, L.: Stability of breeding and non-breeding groups of golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas). Animal Welfare Vol. 12, No. 2 (2003), pp. 251–268. [In Callitrichid primates, offspring remain in their natal group beyond the age of sexual maturity, increasing the group's inclusive fitness by cooperatively rearing their siblings. Contraception of the dominant female in these groups may alter the associated costs and benefits of this cooperative rearing in such a way that offspring themselves attempt to breed when a period longer than the normal inter-birth interval of one year has elapsed. Contraception of the dominant female may also induce changes in socio-sexual interactions between group members, which can lead to increased aggression after a short period. In this study, the authors investigated the occurrence of aggression in 16 captive groups of golden-headed lion tamarins under three conditions: (1) no contraception used; (2) contraception used and offspring younger than one year present within the group; and (3) contraception used and all offspring in the group older than one year. They found that aggression was more likely in larger groups with a high proportion of males or a large number of sons. This effect was significantly stronger for groups in which all offspring were older than one year. Absence of dispersal opportunities and differences in male and female reproductive strategies may explain the observed patterns. The increased instability of large non-breeding groups presents a problem when using long-term contraceptive methods and should be taken into account when making decisions on the most suitable population-control procedures.]

Dorfman, L.: Interaction with wild animals: good or bad? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 514–517.

Finke, M.D.: Gut loading to enhance the nutrient content of insects as food for reptiles: a mathematical approach. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp. 147–162. [Insects are an important food source for many animals commonly kept in zoos. While nutrient requirements for most insectivores have not been quantitatively determined, in captivity the reliance on only one or two species of insects is likely to make them more prone to nutritional deficiencies. Two methods are commonly used to enhance the nutritional value of insects. The first involves using a powder to coat the insect with the appropriate nutrient – usually calcium (Ca) – just before it is fed to the animal. While effective, this method can provide variable results because the amount that adheres to the insect depends on the characteristics of the powder, the insect species being fed, and the ability of the insect to groom itself and remove the nutrient supplement. Other potential problems are the possibility that the dust will change the palatability of the insect, and that certain nutrients may not be available in a form suitable for dusting. A more common method is `gut loading' – feeding the insect a nutrient-dense diet so that the food contained in the gastrointestinal tract supplements the nutrients contained in the insect's body, thereby providing a more balanced diet for the animal being fed. To date, this method has been well researched with regard to Ca, using crickets, mealworms and waxworms, providing valuable information regarding Ca loading for insects, but little information as to the level of other nutrients that should be present in diets designed for gut loading. Recently the complete nutrient composition of a number of invertebrates was reported, which provides a baseline nutrient concentration of these species and identifies nutrients that may be deficient when they are fed as a sole diet. In the present study, the author presents a series of equations to estimate the gastrointestinal tract contents of crickets, mealworms and silkworm larvae, by the use of which the dietary concentration of any nutrient can be calculated, and the insect can be supplemented such that the desired nutrient composition can be obtained. These equations might also be used for other purposes, e.g. enabling zoo nutritionists and veterinarians to use insects to deliver a wide range of other compounds, such as carotenoids, and medicines, such as anthelmintics, to captive insectivores.]

Gewalt, W.: Murmeltier (Marmota) `ging am Stock'. (Marmot walking with a stick.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 1 (2003), pp. 59–60. [German, no English summary. Trained alpine marmots were exhibited by travelling showmen in 18th- and 19th-century Europe.]

Gregorová, E., and Tomková, K.: Hand-rearing of Pallas cat (Otocolobus manul) at Bojnice Zoo, Slovakia. Gazella Vol. 29 (2002), pp. 90–91. [English summary of article in Czech.]

Guerrero, D.: Can you tell me how to structure an ethogram or where to find a good source for them? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 487–488.

Guerrero, D.: We cannot get our bobcat to cooperate. What do you recommend? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 447–448.

Guerrero, S.M., Calderón, M.L., de Pérez, G.R., and Ramírez-Pinilla, M.P.: Annual reproductive activity of Caiman crocodilus fuscus in captivity. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp. 121–133. [The authors describe the gonadal and abdominal fat storage cycles for a population of brown caiman at a breeding farm in Colombia. In spite of the controlled captive conditions, some wild reproductive characteristics are maintained, including seasonal reproductive activity, synchronisation in reproductive activity between males and females, and egg-laying and birth times during the rainy season (April–August). Age at sexual maturity, reproductive frequency, and fat body cycles appear to be modified when compared to those of wild populations of C. c. crocodilus; however, because of the lack of information about reproduction in field populations of C. c. fuscus, it is difficult to know whether the latter characteristics are specific for the subspecies or are modified by the conditions of captivity. Contrary to what has been observed in wild C. c. crocodilus populations and in other crocodilians, fat storage was not related to reproductive activity in the study animals, and did not vary over the seasons or between sexes. These differences may be attributable to the fact that animals in captivity do not have the environmental (e.g., nutritional) restrictions they would have in the wild, and suggest that the amount of food provided in the farm was more than enough to cover the energetic costs of reproduction in both males and females.]

Hosey, G.R., Hughes, J., and Bourne, E.: Observations on some rare infant lemurs. Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 1 (2003), pp. 55–58. [The authors give details on infant lemurs born at the Bourne private collection near Manchester, U.K., during 2001. These represent rare taxa (Eulemur rubriventer, E. fulvus rufus, E. fulvus albocollaris) for which little published information is available. The infant white-collared lemur is thought to be the first born in the U.K. In all three taxa interactions occurred between the infant and its father as well as its mother. This appears to be different from the pattern seen in ring-tailed lemurs.]

Jansen, W.L., Bos, J., Veldhuis Kroeze, E.J.B., Wellen, A., and Beynen, A.C.: Apparent digestibility of macro-nutrients in captive polar bears (Ursus maritimus). Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 2 (2003), pp. 111–115.

Längle, T., and Jorga, W.: Untersuchungen zur Optimierung der Haltungsbedingungen beim Eurasischen Fischotter (Lutra lutra). (Investigations into optimal husbandry conditions for otters.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 1 (2003), pp. 11–32. [German, with English summary. The authors analysed data on activity of European otters at Hoyerswerda Zoo from 1989 to 2000. Their main findings are: (1) Feeding time determines the time of highest activity; (2) Otters prefer underwater entrances, especially in daylight; (3) Otters at Hoyerswerda seem to have two mating seasons in May and December; and (4) Otters mainly use the (unheated) pool from June to September.]

Lücker, H.: 4 Jahre Tundra-Volieren-Komplex im Zoo Dresden. (Dresden Zoo's tundra aviary complex.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 1 (2003), pp. 1–10. [German, with English summary. The complex was opened four years ago. The plants in the walk-through aviary are ones found in the natural habitat of the bird species housed there. In the enclosure where arctic foxes are kept, tundra vegetation is replaced by a mixture of grass and shrubs which can survive the activities of the foxes. Keeping and breeding of waders and small passerine birds has been successful, especially with redshanks (Tringa totanus) and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix). Ringed plover (Charadrius hiaticula) and little grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) were found to be very territorial during courtship and nesting. The zoo hopes to begin breeding waxwings (Bombycilla garrulus) again. Visitors are very fond of the complex, and often spend a long time in the walk-through aviary.]

Manire, C.A., Walsh, C.J., Rhinehart, H.L., Colbert, D.E., Noyes, D.R., and Luer, C.A.: Alterations in blood and urine parameters in two Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) from simulated conditions of release following rehabilitation. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp. 103–120. [Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota, Florida.]

Müller, H.: Clostridium perfringens-Infektionen beim Auerwild (Tetrao urogallus). (Clostridium infection in the capercaillie.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 1 (2003), pp. 38–54. [German, with English summary. Capercaillies are in danger of extinction in central Germany. Many measures are necessary to prevent complete extinction, such as improvement and protection of habitat combined with release of captive-reared birds. Heavy losses occurred over several years due to C. perfringens infection in a combined breeding, rearing and releasing station in Thuringia. In order to prevent further losses, several measures had to be carried out. Essential preconditions included taking into consideration the specialised nutrition of capercaillies due to the specific conditions of their intestinal flora, as well as the improvement of hygienic conditions including prophylactic bacteriological and parasitological investigation.]

Nadler, T.: Wiederentdeckung des Östlichen Schwarzen Gibbons (Nomascus nasutus) in Vietnam. (Rediscovery of the eastern black gibbon.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 2 (2003), pp. 65–73. [German, with English summary. The occurrence of three gibbon types is known for northern Vietnam: the white-cheeked gibbon, the black gibbon and the eastern black gibbon. A female eastern black gibbon was kept at Tierpark Berlin between 1962 and 1986. Only a skin and three skulls of this species exist as museum material, and these were collected 40 years ago. Uncertain evidence of the occurrence of this taxon has come from only three areas, but until now had not been confirmed. At the beginning of 2002, a population of this taxon was discovered close to the Chinese border, in Trung Khanh district, Cao Bang province. The systematic position of this taxon – as either a subspecies of Hylobates (Nomascus) concolor or a valid species – has not been decisively clarified.]

Öhlinger, D.: Omega-Wölfe in Zoorudeln – Vergleich zwischen 2 Situationen. (Bottom-ranking wolves in a zoo pack – two situations compared.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 2 (2003), pp. 116–126. [German, with English summary. A pack of European wolves was observed at Salzburg Zoo from March to November 1999. The aim of the study was to detect possible alterations in the behaviour of the wolves elicited by the transfer from their old, small enclosure to a new, larger one. During the period of observation there were two situations, in which two low-ranking wolves had to fight for their survival. These two incidents highlight the importance of an effective and attentive management in order to deal with similar situations. In addition, the study demonstrates how a modified environment can influence the status and chances of omega-wolves within a pack.]

Pasco, J., and King, B.: The capture and introduction of desert bighorn sheep at the Arizona-Sorora Desert Museum. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 450–455. [Ovis canadensis mexicana.]

Platt, J.A., Brown-Palsgrove, M., and Ross, S.R.: Otter enrichment and the benefits of keeper involvement in behavioral research. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 11 (2002), pp. 457–460. [Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago; Amblonyx cinereus.]

Pryor, G.S.: Protein requirements of three species of parrots with distinct dietary specializations. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No. 2 (2003), pp. 163–177. [Dietary protein deficiency is considered a major obstacle in the evolution of highly specialized nectarivorous and frugivorous birds. Proposed physiological mechanisms that enable such specialists to subsist on low-protein diets include minimized endogenous protein losses, which contribute to reduced protein requirements. The author compared these traits among nectarivorous red lories, frugivorous Pesquet's parrots and granivorous budgerigars. His results suggest that, relative to budgerigars, red lories and Pesquet's parrots have low endogenous protein losses and reduced crude protein (CP) requirements. Based on nitrogen balance analyses, diets containing 1.0%, 3.2%, and 8.2% CP (on a dry matter basis) would meet the minimal protein requirements for maintenance for red lories, Pesquet's parrots, and budgerigars, respectively.]

Ruch, P., and Wunderwald, C.: Physiologische Keimflora im Kot von Tüpfelhyänen. (Bacteria in faeces of spotted hyena.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 2 (2003), p. 127. [German, no English summary.]

Ruempler, G.: Elefant, Nashorn, Flusspferd – die klassischen `Dickhäuter' in der mittelalterlichen Plastik. (Elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus – the classic `pachyderms' in the plastic art of the Middle Ages.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 2 (2003), pp. 93–110. [German, with English summary. Sculptures and reliefs in stone, wood and bronze on and in churches of 11th- to 16th-century Europe are described (with 17 photos). While representations of elephants appear fairly frequently, those of rhino and hippo are rather uncommon. The elephant represents both a positive and a negative symbol and is therefore ambivalent. The same is true of the rhinoceros, which as a `unicorn' can have either positive or negative significance. The hippopotamus appears in the Old Testament book of Job as Behemoth, and has a negative role as a symbol of the devil.]

Spicka, M., Kardová, L., and Karda, J.: Hand-rearing of the foal of Przewalski horse (Equus przewalskii) in Prague Zoo breeding and rehabilitation centre (CHARSA) at Dolní Dobrejov. Gazella Vol. 29 (2002), pp. 32–34. [English summary of article in Czech.]

Virkaitis, V.: The effects of foraging bins on callitrichid behavior. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 29, No. 12 (2002), pp. 505–509. [Philadelphia Zoo, Pennsylvania; Saguinus bicolor and Leontopithecus chrysomelas.]

Wiesner, H., and Maltzan, J.G.: Hellabrunner Notfallset. (Emergency equipment at Munich Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 73, No. 1 (2003), pp. 33–37. [German, with very brief English summary.]

Zharkikh, T.L., Yasynetska, N.I., and Zvegintsova, N.S.: Przewalski horse in the zone of Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Gazella Vol. 29 (2002), pp. 93–109. [In 1998 the Askania Nova Reserve, Ukraine, launched a programme to establish a free-ranging population of Przewalski horses in the 200,000-hectare exclusion zone around Chernobyl. It is estimated that the area could support a population of at least 1,000 horses.]

 

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

Animal Keepers' Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 3601 S.W. 29th Street, Suite 133, Topeka, Kansas 66614, U.S.A.

Animal Welfare, Universities Federation for Animal Welfare, The Old School, Brewhouse Hill, Wheathampstead, Herts. AL4 8AN, U.K.

Gazella, Prague Zoo, U trojského zámku 120/3, 171 00 Praha 7, Czech Republic.

Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., 10 Industrial Avenue, Mahwah, New Jersey 07430–2262, U.S.A.

Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.

Der Zoologische Garten, Urban & Fischer Verlag GmbH, P.O. Box 100537, D-07705 Jena, Germany.