International Zoo News Vol. 50/7 (No. 328) October/November 2003
OBITUARIES – Dr Hans Frädrich; Jack Corney
Fossa Behavior and Exhibit Use Sean T. McCarthy, Kristen E. Lukas,
at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Alan L. Sironen and David Winkler
The Itinerant Ark: Insights Na'ama Y. Ben-David
from the Wandering Zoo
Dortmund Zoo – A Passion Frank Brandstätter
for South America's Wildlife
The Sense and Nonsense of the Walk-through: Erik van Vliet
Amersfoort Zoo's New Nocturnal Exhibit
Letters to the Editor
International Zoo News
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Hans Frädrich, 1937–2003
On 13 September 2003, Dr Hans Frädrich, former director of Berlin Zoological Gardens, died at the age of 66 after having suffered from a serious illness, endured with exemplary patience. He worked for altogether 36 years in the Berlin Zoo, and for 11 years as its director.
Hans Frädrich was born on 4 July 1937, the son of Dr Günter Frädrich, a surgeon in Göttingen. Already as a boy he was very interested in animals and kept at home a whole menagerie of various fish, reptiles, weaver finches and lovebirds. His bookshelves were filled with books about animals and zoos, and during his holidays he worked for the firm L. Ruhe, Germany's largest animal dealers, who at that time operated the Zoological Gardens of Hanover. In this way he first came into contact with the world of zoological gardens.
After his final school examinations Hans Frädrich started to study natural science and Romance languages in Göttingen, after which he left for the University of Munich. The lectures of Konrad Lorenz reinforced his wish to work later as a zoologist in a zoo. He therefore chose to work on a dissertation about larger mammals which he could only observe in a zoological garden. The theme of his dissertation was the biology of wild pigs, especially wart hogs. His place of work was Frankfurt Zoological Gardens, under the late director Bernhard Grzimek. He sent Frädrich to Kenya to complement his zoo observations by field work. Already before his graduation in Göttingen in July 1964 he was offered a position as an assistant in Frankfurt Zoo.
After two years' employment in Frankfurt, Hans Frädrich became an assistant at Berlin Zoo in 1966. Exactly 25 years later he became its director and held this position for 11 years until his 65th birthday in July 2002, the day of his retirement. Altogether he worked for Berlin Zoological Gardens for 36 years. After his retirement he not only kept in contact with the zoo world, but became a member of the board for Berlin Zoo and Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. He also continued with his lectures on zoo biology for the Free University of Berlin, which were held at Berlin Zoo.
During his directorship the hippo house, which is unique in Europe, and the modern seal and penguin enclosures [see pp. 430–1, below – Ed.] were built. Both houses count as exemplary in the zoo world. Hans Frädrich was not only a progressive zoo man, he also felt an obligation to the long tradition of Berlin Zoo. During his directorship a new house for cattle was entirely built in Thai style. As a perfectionist, he involved not only the Thai embassy but also architects and craftsmen from Thailand to take part in the planning and construction.
Even under the directorship of his predecessor, Professor Heinz-Georg Klös, Hans Frädrich was responsible for many changes and modernizations in the zoo – for example, the alteration of the rocky enclosure for mountain goats and sheep or the house for antelopes. Very often it was Dr Frädrich whose ideas on animal keeping led Berlin Zoo into the future. He was a zoo man par excellence. Many of the ideas he realized during his 36 years at Berlin Zoo will outlast his death.
Hans Frädrich was not only a good zoo man but also an excellent writer and author of many articles and publications for scientific journals. Apart from that, he was co-author and author of various books on Berlin Zoo. In 1977 he co-launched Berlin Zoo's journal Bongo, which appears once a year, and he put his stamp on it in the years to follow. He was active in many scientific societies in Berlin and throughout Germany.
With the death of Hans Frädrich not only both Berlin zoos, but also the whole zoo world, lose an expert and a personality who dedicated his whole life to zoos and nature conservation.
[I never met Hans Frädrich, but we corresponded from time to time, and he was always extremely friendly and supportive of my work with IZN. I particularly treasure a letter he sent [published in IZN 40 (3), p. 31] in enthusiastic agreement with an editorial in which I had criticized the then New York Zoological Society for abandoning the use of the word `zoo'. No doubt Dr Frädrich was as pleased as I was to see how the name `the Bronx Zoo' has triumphantly survived the misguided attempt to abolish it. – Nicholas Gould.]
Jack Corney, 1924–2003
Jack Corney, the owner of the Isle of Wight Zoo in Sandown, U.K., died at his home on 15 August, aged 79. After war service as an RAF pilot, Corney took up engineering as a career, eventually forming his own successful company. But he always thought it was his destiny to work with animals, and in 1976 acquired the run-down, 20-year-old Sandown Zoo, described by The Times newspaper as `the slum zoo of Britain'. In the years that followed, as John Tuson recently wrote [IZN 50 (4), p. 222], the collection was `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.'
Initially Jack Corney's big enthusiasm was reptiles, and the zoo gained a reputation for its work with venomous snakes – Corney was bitten on four occasions, three times ending up in intensive care. In later years, however, the speciality became big cats, in particular tigers. The zoo's first pair, Shere Khan and Tamyra, produced and reared 30 cubs. In the 1990s lemurs became another focal group; the zoo now keeps four species and is becoming involved in in situ work in Madagascar.
Like several other founders of successful British zoos, Jack Corney started out with little formal zoological knowledge, but his enthusiasm and willingness to welcome expert guidance enabled him to create an excellent small zoo. A particularly pleasing aspect is the recognition that every animal is an individual – the zoo's website includes lively `character sketches' of many of the animals, a feature other zoos might do well to follow. Jack Corney's family will carry on his work, and plan that the zoo will continue to specialise, concentrating its efforts on the conservation and breeding of a limited range of species.
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A brief article in the scientific journal Nature (Vol. 425, p. 473, 2 October 2003) claims that `animals that roam over a large territory in the wild do not take kindly to being confined,' and consequently suggests that zoos should perhaps stop housing such animals and `concentrate instead on species that respond better to being kept in captivity.' The authors, Ros Clubb and Georgia Mason of Oxford University Department of Zoology's Animal Behaviour Research Group, start by stating that `some species – ring-tailed lemurs and snow leopards, for example – apparently thrive in captivity, whereas others, such as Asian elephants and polar bears, are prone to problems that include poor health, repetitive stereotypic behaviour and breeding difficulties.' To investigate `this previously unexplained variation in captive animals' welfare' they focus on caged carnivores, and try to `show that it stems from constraints imposed on the natural behaviour of susceptible animals, with wide-ranging lifestyles in the wild predicting stereotypy and the extent of infant mortality in captivity.'
There is an a priori plausibility about this theory, and it certainly deserves to be considered, but the article left me with a faint suspicion that the authors had decided beforehand what it was that they wanted to prove. Certainly, the figures they present – for their argument is essentially a statistical one – seem altogether inadequate to prove their case. They take stereotypic pacing and high infant mortality as indicators of poor captive well-being, and try to establish a correlation between the frequency of their occurrence in various carnivore species and the minimum sizes of those species' home ranges in the wild. Unfortunately, they do not publish all the data they used: but graphs plotting the two behavioural indicators against range areas in about 20 species – American mink, Arctic fox, lion and polar bear are the only ones identified – do seem to show that some correlation exists.
Many questions, however, remain unanswered. The lion is given high scores for both infant mortality and stereotypy – on the latter, indeed, even higher than the polar bear. Yet the average visitor probably forms the justifiable impression that most zoo lions lead lives of contented indolence; and centuries of experience seem to show that this species breeds well in a great variety of confined environments. Indeed, if infant mortality is the criterion, wild lions probably do worse than most zoo ones – George Schaller calculated that in the Serengeti two-thirds of cubs die within their first year. It is curious, too, that the authors mention the snow leopard as a species which they admit does well in captivity; this seems to undermine their case at the outset, for on average wild snow leopards probably have larger home ranges than lions (or, indeed, any other carnivore except the polar bear). In the Ngorongoro Crater 100 lions were once counted in 181 km2 (i.e. 55 per 100 km2). This is admittedly unusual, and was presumably ignored by Clubb and Mason in their estimates of minimum home ranges. At the other extreme, 1.5–2.0 per 100 km2 is an estimate for lions in the Kalahari Desert. Wild snow leopards have been less studied, but published information suggests a minimum of 20 km2 as an individual's range, or five animals per 100 km2: in poor habitat, a figure similar to that of Kalahari lions seems more typical.
In poor habitat – there, I would suggest, is the key to a major flaw in Clubb and Mason's argument. Carnivores don't choose to have large ranges because they enjoy long-distance walking, but because in some environments only a large range can provide them with the necessities of life – potential mates, drinking water and, above all, adequate numbers of prey. When plentiful food is available in a restricted area, they happily tolerate astonishingly high densities, like those Ngorongoro lions, or the polar bears around Churchill on Hudson Bay (where in the past up to 40 bears could be seen on one garbage dump!). The authors' statement that `a [zoo] polar bear's typical enclosure size . . . is about one-millionth of its minimum home-range size' unfortunately (but not unexpectedly) found its way into the national media in Britain, with the natural inference being drawn that polar bears cannot possibly be provided with suitable conditions in zoos.
`Our results show,' Clubb and Mason declare, `to our knowledge for the first time [my italics], that a particular lifestyle in the wild confers vulnerability to welfare problems in captivity.' Curious – I'd have thought that reducing welfare problems by finding husbandry methods compatible with the particular lifestyles of different species was something zoos had put in a good deal of work on over the last century or so. Whether any species are, in the authors' words, `inherently likely to fare badly in zoos and similar establishments,' is debatable. (Cetaceans are perhaps the most likely candidates.) What is certain is that all good zoos are aware of the problems, and are devoting a great deal of research and expense to solving them through improved enclosure design, environmental enrichment and other measures. Practical experience seems to show that many animals whose wild life-styles involve a great deal of travelling – not just carnivores, but a wide range of species from fruit bats and desert antelopes to migratory or pelagic birds and sea fishes – can lead healthy and contented lives, and reproduce successfully, in spatially restricted man-made habitats.
Wide-ranging carnivores present special difficulties for in situ conservation. They need large areas of fairly unspoilt habitat with adequate populations of prey species, and many of their human neighbours view them primarily as a threat to livestock – think of the plight of all Asia's big cats, or the Iberian lynx, or the few surviving wolves in Norway. For some species, zoo breeding programmes seem to offer the best – or perhaps only – hope of survival. In their final paragraph, Ros Clubb and Georgia Mason come near to acknowledging this fact, and admit that improving the husbandry of such animals in zoos is urgently desirable. It is a pity that the general tone of their article gives the impression that they strongly doubt whether such improvement is possible.
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FOSSA BEHAVIOR AND EXHIBIT USE AT CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO
BY SEAN T. MCCARTHY, KRISTEN E. LUKAS, ALAN L. SIRONEN AND DAVID WINKLER
The fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) is the largest predator native to Madagascar and hunts a wide variety of animals including fish, birds, insects, a variety of small mammals, and especially lemurs (Croke, 2000). In fact, the fossa is the only Malagasy predator capable of hunting the adults of all lemur species (Dollar, 1999). It is surprisingly powerful for its size, but still extremely fast and agile when pursuing prey through the trees or on the ground. The powerful forelimbs are used to pin the prey down as a lethal bite is administered to the back of the head or neck (Garbutt, 1999). It has been described as pound-for-pound the deadliest carnivore in nature (Croke, 2000).
The fossa appears to be more sensitive to habitat changes than many animals. This is characteristic of carnivores, because they rely on a healthy food chain in order to stay alive. It has been estimated that approximately 90% of the original forests of Madagascar have been destroyed (Bradley, 2000). In addition to destruction of the fossa's environment, humans serve as the animal's only predator. There is a lot of local folklore about fossas stealing children out of cribs or killing entire coops of chickens with their flatulence alone! Many people will shoot fossas on sight because of these tales, but also because domestic chickens are eaten by the fossa. Because of over-hunting and destruction of habitat, fossa numbers have dropped below 2,500 individuals and it was upgraded from Vulnerable to Endangered status in 2000 (Zachariah, 2000). Yet the presence of fossas is a great benefit to local farmers because they prey upon rat and wild pig populations that destroy crops.
The fossa occupies the native forests and wooded savannas of Madagascar up to an altitude of 2,600 m (Garbutt, 1999). Being one of only eight native predators on the island, it plays a key role in the ecosystem by keeping the population of its prey in check. Without the fossa, numbers of many prey species, especially lemurs, would explode. This would result in a change in plant growth, resulting in an unnatural reconstruction of the entire ecosystem (Dollar, 1999). Therefore, the disappearance of the fossa would probably result in the disappearance of many species of lemurs and other animals lower in the food chain.
Although it is classified in the Viverridae family, the fossa possesses many cat-like characteristics. The overall body shape suggests feline roots, and even its molars resemble those of cats, but its low-slung body and the shape of its skull place it in the Viverridae (Croke, 2000). It has reddish-brown fur with a cream-colored underside. An average adult stands about 37 cm tall at the shoulder and has a body that is 61–80 cm long with a tail that is equal in length to its body, normally weighing 7–12 kg (Nowak, 1999).
The fossa was originally thought to be nocturnal or crepuscular, but Dollar (1999) describes its activity pattern as cathemeral, or non-period-specific. This coincides with the activity pattern of the larger lemur species, which are the favored prey of the fossa (Dollar, 1999). This pattern allows the fossa to hunt its preferred prey easily, as well as providing great flexibility while hunting a wide variety of other prey.
In the wild, the mating season is in September and October, with births occurring in December and January after a gestation period of three months. A litter normally contains two young, but it is not uncommon to have up to four (Zachariah, 2000). The young are blind and toothless at birth, but have fur. They do not leave the den until two or three months after birth, and are weaned at four or five months (Garbutt, 1999). The young leave their mothers at 15–20 months and sexual maturity is reached around three years (Parker, 1990).
Little research has been performed on the fossa. The natural population has only recently been studied (Dollar et al., 1997; Dollar, 1999; Dollar, pers. comm.; Goodman et al., 1997), but little systematic research has been conducted with the 70+ specimens in captivity around the world, about 24 of which are in North America (ISIS, 2003). A number of reports on the breeding of fossas in captivity are available (Albignac, 1975; Hornsey, 1999; Kopel, 1998).
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (CMZ) was fortunate to have a three-year-old male fossa on exhibit during the summer of 2002, with plans to import a female companion during the fall of 2002. Because there was a lack of information published on the behavior of captive fossas, this project was mainly descriptive in nature. For example, not much was known about how fossa behavior varies across time of day in captivity, or to what extent the fossa utilized its exhibit furnishings. In addition, information gathered through this study was to serve as baseline data for comparison of the male's behavior when a female was introduced in fall 2002, as little information is known about the social behavior of the fossa (Winkler, 2002).
Subject and Methods
The subject was one male fossa on exhibit in the Primate, Cat and Aquatic building at CMZ. The animal was born at San Antonio Zoo, Texas, on 24 June 1999 as the only male in a litter of three, and was parent-reared. He arrived at Cleveland on 1 May 2001.
Wood paneling formed three walls of the exhibit (4.5 m ´ 3.5 m ´ 2.1 m), and the front wall was the viewing window (4.7 m wide). The exhibit measured 3.7 m high with a skylight window and artificial light provided by fluorescent bulbs. Wood chips covered approximately half the ground space and the rest was bare concrete that was shaped into rock formations in some places (see photo, below). Occasionally, straw was placed on top of half of the wood chips. Three terrestrial logs were placed on the exhibit floor. Three additional large logs were placed vertically on their ends to simulate trees. One elevated, or `arboreal', log sat about 1.5 m off the floor and ran parallel to the front glass while another arboreal log ran nearly perpendicular to the other log and attached to it, forming a `T' shape. Occasionally, a shallow metal container (measuring 0.6 m ´ 0.6 m ´ 1 m) filled with a sand/gravel mix served as a litter box. One free-standing enclosure furnishing that was occasionally provided was a large, sturdy plastic ball.
Diet and method of feeding were consistent with available guidelines for the husbandry of captive fossa (Winkler, 2001). Feeding consisted of an approximately 280 g chunk of horsemeat (with calcium supplement) and 280 g of processed canine food every day, except for twice a week when a whole (thawed) rabbit, chicken, or guinea pig was given. The food was normally presented in a switch cage to assist in shifting the subject for exhibit cleaning. It was often difficult to get the animal to move from cage to cage, and he was occasionally fasted for one day if he refused to switch. He was fed in the morning between 7:30 and 9:00 hrs or in the evening between 16:30 and 17:30 hrs, and therefore usually had access to food on exhibit. When a whole thawed animal (rabbit, chicken, etc.) was given as food, he would take several hours to ingest the whole animal. In addition, after some exhibit cleanings chunks of meat would be hidden throughout the exhibit and the fossa would eat them whenever he came across them throughout the day. Enrichment usually consisted of small branches with leaves placed randomly throughout the exhibit. No unnatural materials other than the plastic ball were added to the exhibit because of the danger of ingestion.
Data were collected from 1 July to 9 August 2002. The observation sessions were balanced across five time slots throughout the day (8:00–10:00, 10:00–12:00, 12:00–14:30, 14:30–17:00, 17:00–19:00). The time that the sessions began was the time used to place the session in one of the time slots. Thirty minutes had to elapse between the end of one session and the start of a new session.
An observation session lasted for 30 minutes. A stopwatch was started to begin each session. At 30-second intervals, we recorded the subject's substrate, posture, and behavior (see Ethogram, Table 1). We recorded all-occurrence behaviors continuously. The substrate on which urination or defecation occurred was recorded as well. We conducted 47 observation sessions for a total of 23.5 observation hours. Data were summarized and graphed in Microsoft Excel 2000.
Results suggest the subject spent approximately 85% of his time in an inactive state (rest alert or sleeping). Only 15% of his time was spent performing other behaviors, which were categorized as active. Also, the subject was on a soft substrate (wood chips, straw, or sand) 77% of the time, followed by hard terrestrial (cement and logs) at 19%, and only 4% of his time was spent arboreal. Of the 85% of time spent inactive, 65% was spent sleeping and 20% was spent in an alert but resting state.
Regarding posture, the subject spent most time reclining in a curled position (32%) or on his side (35%), followed by reclining on his belly (8%) or back (8%). Total percentage of time spent reclining (83%) corresponded closely with time spent inactive (85%). Other postures included remaining upright (10%) and sitting (7%).
When the subject was active, he was most often engaging in self-directed (grooming, scratching, stretching) behaviors (4%) and locomotion (4%). Walking (3.4%) dominated the other modes of locomotion recorded including leaping (0.2%), running (0.2%), and climbing (0.2%). Other active behaviors included object-directed (chewing, digging, marking) behavior (2%) and ingestion (2%). An abnormal behavior was recorded only one time (1%) and this was an episode of regurgitation and reingestion. Some carnivores will regurgitate in order to feed young, but this subject was observed reingesting his own vomit. Although it was recorded as an abnormal behavior, it is possible that this behavior is normal for this species. `Other' active behaviors accounted for the other 1.5% of the activity budget.
With the ingestion pattern across time of day, higher levels were observed from 8:00 to 10:00 and from 14:30 to 19:00, the time periods that the subject was normally presented with food. Overall activity across time of day followed a similar trend.
Finally, the all-occurrence data suggest a reaction to an action of a visitor was the most frequently observed event with a rate of once per hour. Note the difference between the two methods of marking the exhibit; mount and thrust was used much more frequently than the squat and drag method. The behavior we named `spasm' was recorded as taking place at a rate of about 0.5 occurrences per hour.
This project aimed to describe the basic activity budget and enclosure use of one male fossa. Results suggest a low level of activity, which would be considered normal for most carnivores in captivity. The pattern of substrate use was related to the activity pattern: the subject spent a greater amount of time on soft substrates because he seemed to prefer them while sleeping and resting. Garbutt (1999) described fossas as occasionally resting in caves and dens, but preferring to sleep in trees. However, the subject in the current study only spent about 4% of his time in elevated spaces provided in his exhibit. It is possible that his arboreal exhibit furnishings do not satisfy his needs for arboreal resting space. Exhibit modifications that increase the number or quality of elevated spaces might increase species-typical behavior. Comparative studies between institutions with exhibits of varying heights might elucidate the relationship between complex elevated spaces and behavior.
Recent studies have shown that wild fossas follow a cathemeral, or non-period-specific activity pattern. In the current study, the subject's ingestion behavior and activity level was largely dependent on the feeding schedule. Because many carnivores have been observed to develop stereotypic behaviors in response to fixed feeding schedules (Carlstead, 1998), care must be taken to provide a wide range of behavioral opportunities in the periods surrounding feeding times. Fortunately, the subject in this study exhibited very low, if not non-existent, levels of undesirable behavior. However, the subject's locomotor patterns suggest he had no need to exert greater energy by using modes of locomotion other than walking to move around the exhibit. More exuberant movements such as leaping or climbing would normally be used while pursuing prey, something that a captive fossa is not likely to experience. Expanding the types of enrichment used for feeding, altering food presentation techniques, and incorporating hunting lure scents, food-delivering devices, or other enrichment techniques might prevent the development of abnormal behavior patterns in this specimen and alternatively encourage natural hunting behaviors.
The rapid bouts of running, climbing and leaping we termed `spasms' were very interesting to observe. It is possible that this behavior is reminiscent of the need for wild fossas to have a quick burst of energy while pursuing prey, for we observed unexplainable bouts of rapid activity. There was a great deal of variability in this behavior; it might occur many times in rapid succession, then not again for hours. For example, one data session reported 11 spasms in one half-hour (the data from that session were not used due to its outlying status). Again, different feeding techniques might help channel this behavior into a species-typical hunting response.
There are many questions that remain to be answered regarding fossas, both in the wild and in captivity. This project aimed only to be descriptive in nature, but there are many possibilities for future studies. First, it is known that wild fossas are least active during the hottest and coldest parts of the day. By altering light and temperature levels within the exhibit it would be possible to better understand how their behavior varies.
There are also some questions that pertain to fossa offspring. Many females exhibit genital mimicry of the males, but not all young show this trait. It would be beneficial to know how many offspring exhibit this trait should any mating occur in captivity. Another interesting study pertaining to fossa offspring deals with differences in aggression between males and females. Females have a higher testosterone level when they are young than any other time in their lives. It is thought that this occurs to cause the female young to be as aggressive as their brothers. This prevents them from being underfed when they are young and enables them to compete with male siblings for food. By monitoring aggression levels and comparing them between the sexes this process could be better understood.
Although the findings from this research would have been more generalizable if there had been more subjects involved or if it had been conducted at multiple institutions, we found the information we gathered was useful for informing management decisions. For example, modifications to exhibit substrates and elevated spaces were made in response to information gained through the study. In addition, this is the first published account of systematic data collection on the behavior of Cryptoprocta ferox and may serve as a model for conducting multi-institutional studies on fossa behavior in the future. The ethogram is currently being modified to include social behaviors in preparation for data collection on an upcoming introduction of the male to a female. Continued data collection on his behavior during the introduction period will provide additional information on the management and breeding of fossas in captivity.
This project was possible only through the generosity of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and its staff. Thank you to Kym Parr, Laura Cancino, and Tad Schoffner for their assistance at the zoo and to Dr Luke Dollar for his generosity of time and information in response to requests from the first author.
Albignac, R. (1975): Breeding the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) at the Montpellier Zoo. International Zoo Yearbook 15: 147–150.
Bradley, M. (2000): On the trail of the fossa. Tennessee Alumnus Vol. 80, No. 4.
Carlstead, K. (1998): Determining the causes of stereotypic behaviors in zoo carnivores: toward appropriate enrichment strategies. In Second Nature: Environmental Enrichment for Captive Animals (ed. D.J. Shepherdson, J.D. Mellen, and M. Hutchins), pp. 172–183. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
Croke, V. (2000): The deadliest carnivore. Discover (April 2000): 69–75.
Dollar, L. (1999): Preliminary report on the status, activity cycle and ranging of Cryptoprocta ferox in the Malagasy rainforest, with implications for conservation. Small Carnivore Conservation (IUCN/SSC Mustelid, Viverrid and Procyonid Specialist Group) 20: 7–10.
Garbutt, N. (1999): Mammals of Madagascar. Pica Press, East Sussex, U.K.
Goodman, S.M., Langrand, O., and Rasolonandrasana, B.P.N. (1997): The food habits of Cryptoprocta ferox in the high mountain zone of the Andringitra Massif, Madagascar. Mammalia 61 (2): 185–192.
Hornsey, T. (1999): Breeding the fossa at Suffolk Wildlife Park. International Zoo News 46 (7): 407–417.
Kopel, E.M. (1998): Fossa breeding at the San Antonio Zoo. Animal Keepers' Forum 25 (11): 430–431.
Macdonald, D. (1984): The Encyclopedia of Mammals. Facts on File, New York.
Nowak, R.M. (1999): Walker's Mammals of the World (6th ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
Parker, S.P. (1990): Grzimek's Encyclopedia of Mammals (Vol. 3: pp. 533–535). McGraw-Hill, New York.
Winkler, A. (2002): Husbandry Guidelines for the Fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox). Duisburg Zoo, Germany.
Zachariah, T. (2000): Cryptoprocta ferox. The Animal Diversity Web – University of Michigan website (http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu).
Corresponding author: Kristen E. Lukas, Ph.D., Curator of Conservation and Science, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, 3900 Wildlife Way, Cleveland, Ohio 44109, U.S.A. (Phone: (216) 635–3314; Fax: (216) 661–3312; E-mail: email@example.com)
Table 1. Ethogram for studying behavior of captive fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox).
Code Substrate Definition
ST Straw Straw scattered over the exhibit floor, usually on the wood chips. Occasionally absent.
WC Wood chipsSmall pieces of wood that are scattered across the exhibit floor at a thickness of several inches.
CM CementHard, rock-like substance that forms most of the floor of the exhibit; shaped like rocks in some areas, flat and smooth in others.
SG Sand/GravelA mixture of small rocks and sand kept within a shallow metal container. Occasionally absent.
LT Terrestrial logPieces of tree trunks that are lying on the exhibit floor.
LA Arboreal logTree branches that have been affixed above the exhibit floor; includes the upright logs that support them.
* The substrate that was recorded was the one where most of the subject's body was touching. If the subject was standing with two feet on one substrate and two on another, the substrate where the hind legs were located was the one recorded.
Code Posture Definition
LS Reclining on sideOne hip touching the ground; one shoulder or no shoulders may be touching the ground.
LB Reclining on belly No shoulders or hips touching the ground.
LK Reclining on back Both shoulders touching the ground.
ST Sitting Only the rear of the subject is in contact with the ground, the front may or may not be supported by the front legs; often accompanied by scratching or grooming.
UP Upright Normal quadrupedal position with only the feet touching the ground; includes walking and standing on two or four legs.
Code Behavior Definition
SL Sleep Rest with the eyes closed.
RA Rest alert Stationary with eyes open and alert to surroundings; includes yawning and sniffing air.
ST Stretch Fully extending a limb with no obvious intentions of accomplishing a result from performing the movement.
SC Scratch Running claws over fur; hind legs normally used.
GR Groom Use of tongue, teeth, or mouth to manipulate fur and/or skin.
DR Drink Ingestion of water.
ET Eat Ingestion of food.
WK Walk Quadrupedal forward movement without losing contact with the substrate.
RN Run Quadrupedal forward movement with brief loss of contact with substrate.
CL Climb Use of feet to propel oneself up or down without losing contact with the substrate.
CH Chew Mastication of any non-food item without ingestion; e.g. chewing a stick.
UR Urinate Release of urine from the body.
DF Defecate Release of feces from the body.
MK Mark Rubbing anal region on any substrate; can be done as a squat and drag movement or as if mounting the substrate and thrusting into it.
DG Dig Scratching at the ground with paws to move the substrate.
LP Leap Locomotion with all four limbs losing contact with the substrate.
AB Abnormal Includes regurgitation/reingestion, pacing, and coprophagy (eating feces).
PL Play Activity directed toward the boomer ball or other similar enrichment; subject normally mounts the ball and shoves it between its hind legs as it jumps over the ball. The important thing to note is that the action is directed towards an object as opposed to just performing an action, like a leap.
IN Inspection Exploring an object or part of exhibit; the object receiving the inspection must be within six inches [15 cm] of the subject's face. The subject normally sniffs an object he is inspecting. This includes sniffing a substrate.
OT Other Any other behaviors not listed here.
NV Not visible All or part of the subject is not visible to the data collector, making it impossible to record a behavior.
Spasm Energetic bout of rapid movement that involves leaping and running; subject quickly moves about the exhibit, usually leaping between ground and arboreal logs, with occasional planting on wall.
Visitor Lifting or turning of head in response to visitor activity (approach, glass-banging, vocalizations, etc.).
Mark: squat & dragPlacing the anal region on the ground while weight remains on the front paws, followed by a forward walking movement where the anal region is rubbed against the ground.
Mark: mount & thrustThe subject grabs an object or substrate with its front paws and then straddles the object with its hind legs. This is followed by rapid forward movements of the hips directed at the object.
Urinate/SubstrateThe release of urine from the body. Record the substrate on which this occurred as well (WC, ST, SG, etc.).
Defecate/SubstrateThe release of feces from the body. Record the substrate on which this occurred as well (WC, ST, SG, etc.).
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THE ITINERANT ARK: INSIGHTS FROM THE WANDERING ZOO
BY NA'AMA Y. BEN-DAVID
Many zoos employ animals as educational ambassadors in travelling zoo programmes. The animals are transported in specially outfitted vehicles called `zoomobiles.' These mobile mini-zoos contain artifacts and tapes of animal sounds in addition to the live animals, and make presentations to school groups, the elderly, and at other events concerning the zoo or conservation causes. In addition, they serve as outreach tools to promote the zoo and its programmes, boosting attendance and interest. Since zoomobiles are intended to teach and entertain people of all ages, their operators are able to customize each appearance to the specific needs of a particular audience. While the zoomobile is widely popular both as an educational tool and for its entertainment value, the educational and entertainment components must be carefully weighed against the impact on the health of the animals. The handlers must assess the physical and psychological damage inflicted upon the animals that participate in these programmes – whether in terms of disorientation, loss of water or nutrition, or stress. Failing to take the well-being of the animals into account undermines the very messages of conservation and preservation that the zoomobile programme is designed to spread.
Research done at the Jerusalem-based Tisch Family Zoological Gardens (the `Biblical Zoo') has tracked the effect of a zoomobile-type programme on different species and offers guidelines for directors and zookeepers who create and participate in similar programmes.
The first show this researcher participated in with the Biblical Zoo's zoomobile was for a local retirement home. The audience consisted of people who were exceptionally ill. When the zoomobile staff began setting up, there was a total lack of response, not even a flicker of interest in the strange equipment and odd-shaped cages being unloaded into the recreation room. Even the sound system, with sounds of lions roaring and siamangs howling, failed to elicit even mild interest. The beautiful posters of the zoo's hippos, chimpanzees, Burmese pythons and ostriches were ineffective. The lion skull and the Burmese python skin did not make an impression either.
The start of the segment with live animals elicited sudden and startling changes in these people. Suddenly there was life in the room. People laughed. They thought the panda mice were sweet and the tortoise's shell was fascinating to touch. The retirement home staff looked on in amazement as these people were brought back to life, as it were, and from magic as simple as touching live animals. There was a soft glow on the faces of the seniors – a gentleness. One woman even cried while petting a small rabbit. It was clear that the animals had a powerful effect on them, and that they were changed, even if only temporarily, by the experience. The therapeutic benefits of a travelling zoo programme and the positive effects animals have on the elderly were made clear.
The beneficial and even recuperative effects of animals on the elderly, the infirm, and especially on children are well documented. Much research chronicles the effects of animals on hospitalized patients, on autistic children and on the lonely. For example, Shari Bernard, the founder of Therapet in Texas, brings dogs to visit the hospitalized and infirm. Bernard `took her canines into nursing homes and noticed that patients reacted immediately and positively. She also saw that the staff – some of who were initially wary – were quite often able to witness real and even dramatic improvement in the patients' condition, even for those who hadn't been responsive to traditional types of therapy' (Schoen, 2001). Allen Schoen talks further about the benefits of animals as pets. `It is no surprise,' he remarks, `. . . that there is a strong connection between an older person's health and the presence of an animal companion.' In fact, he continues, `Animal companions played a vital role in moderating age-related increase in blood pressure.'
Besides the beneficial effects that animals and, by extension, programmes like zoomobiles have on the elderly, a study by Gene Myers (1998) monitored a kindergarten class through a whole school year and observed their interactions with animals and their play, especially as it pertained to animals. This included imaginative play, stuffed animals and any live animal interactions that occurred throughout the school year. He concluded that `animals are directly important in the child's formation of a sense of self. In the gradual development of the group, their perceptions of animals changed, as did their playing and imitations of different types of animals. Children try to imitate an animal's walk and language, but without anthropomorphizing. They are true to the animal's nature and individuality.
Traditionally, there is a strong bond between animals and children. `Animals are symbolic for the child not in the sense that their meanings are imposed by social or psychic factors. . . but in the sense of confirming the child's own uniquely human self and representing and furthering the living, feeling self in a more vivid form than can other kinds of carriers of meaning' (Myers, 1998). Animals also help children understand their own surroundings, by the very differences in habitat and life-style implicit in the animal kingdom. `Children perceive pretend animal identities as affording an orientation distinct from the ordinary human world with its structured time and space and its roles and rules of conduct' (Myers, 1998). The tactile experience [afforded by a zoomobile] helps reinforce learning and stimulate imagination and imaginative play (Williams, 1999).
Thus, the literature well supports the real educational benefits of a travelling zoo programme as well. Not only do animals elicit a response in children, they are a valuable tool whereby children learn about their surroundings, and their place in the world. But at what cost to the animals in such programmes?
Review of literature
To date, there is no research published on this topic. The topic of animal stress while travelling has not been addressed or studied. One can only draw peripherally on other research relating to husbandry and care of species, and base conclusions on observations and research with the zoomobile programme and its animals in the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo.
Throughout the course of the first 300 workshops to which the Biblical Zoo's zoomobile travelled, 60% of which were up to 50 miles [80 km] away and 40% of which were 50–120 miles [80–190 km] away, behavioural changes and altered feeding schedules in some of the animals were observed, indicating an elevated level of stress. The question arose as to which species were affected by the travel and handling/petting, and how severely? Was there a level of tolerance for some animals? For example, one show a day was all right, but two shows a day would be too stressful? Was there a way to schedule animals so they would be able to go on the road, and then rest, in order to relieve them of the stress of travelling? Were there some species better suited for this kind of programme than others? Was there a means to assess the levels of stress that the animals experience while travelling and a way to relieve it while on the road?
Over a five-month period of at least one show per day, the effects of travelling on different species were studied by observing changes in their behaviour and feeding activities. A daily record was kept of which specimen participated in the programme, how long the travel time was, how many shows it participated in, and whether it exhibited any effects. After it became clear that some animals were indeed experiencing elevated stress levels, a roster was created whereby individuals would have a day or two or more between shows so as to allow them to gain relief from the stress. Among the data being compiled was the relationship between the frequency of shows and the changes in the behaviour of the animals. A group of non-travelling animals of the same species, sex and age was also assembled as a control group and their behaviour and appetite were compared to those of their travelling counterparts.
Some animal species are more affected than others by this type of programme, a phenomenon that may be due to the genetics of species-specific personality. Though there are many variables that may be affecting the psyche of the animals, one key element is that of docility, or tameness. Animals that are, by nature, tame suffer less from being handled and petted. Tameness can be a hereditary trait. `There is a genetic contribution to tameness. Some species are [genetically] more tame than others' (Grandin, 1998). This propensity towards tameness can be harnessed for the betterment of the animals' welfare in a travelling zoo programme. As V.S. Lankin (1997) has shown, `Reduced flight distance in the presence of people is one of the most obvious behavioural changes accompanying the domestication process. Tameness is inversely related to flight distance. The capacity to be tamed (tameability) is moderately heritable and responds well to artificial selection.' Studies have shown that `wild animals naturally avoid contact with humans unless habituated to the presence of humans' (van Lawick-Goodall, 1968; Geist, 1971). If animals become familiar, or habituated, to the presence and touch of humans, their stress levels remain low when the time comes to be handled or petted. The habituation process, though stressful at first, can ultimately reduce the stress the animals feel during shows.
Research has shown that `training captive animals to engage in various handling procedures can potentially reduce the distress experienced by both animal and handler' (Reinhardt, 1991, 1996). Handlers and zookeepers can learn to behave in a non-threatening way as well, especially when presenting at a show, in order to decrease the stress of the animal. `Large, rapidly approaching objects are more threatening to animals than smaller, passive objects and . . . elicit more intense reactions. Animal handlers can minimize flight distance by exhibiting behaviours that are non-threatening' (Price, 2002, p. 123). If a handler is aware of the triggers in a species of the fight/flight response, steps can be taken to ensure that the catching up and handling of that species is less stressful.
Other key elements in the effort to reduce stress levels of animals that are travelling and being presented in shows are cage training, drive training and early habituation. Cage and drive training methods would involve putting an animal in a cage similar to its travel cage and driving it around on a semi-regular basis, in order to get it used to the motions and sensations of travelling, and the confines of its cage. Habituation is the process whereby animals are handled and petted by different people, at different times, but always at least once a day, in order to get them used to being handled. The earlier these training techniques are employed in an animal's life, the better they work and the less stressful they are to the animal being trained.
In addition to the profound effect simply interacting with animals can have on participants, each species appearing in the Biblical Zoo's zoomobile programme is an educational portal into conversations about such issues as conservation, predator/prey relationships, colours in nature and food webs, among others. Below, relevant topics will be mentioned in the context of applicable animals, along with findings about the different species' zoomobile experiences.
The following species were unaffected by the length of travel and frequency of shows: hissing cockroach (Gromphadorina portentosa), stick insect (Oreophoetes peruana), panda mouse (Mus musculus) and guinea pig (Cavia porcellus). These species exhibited no obvious behavioural or feeding changes as a result of travelling and being handled. The first two species are used to talk about adaptations that animals make to live in their habitats. The second two are used to discuss domesticated, familiar animals.
The travelling and display did not heavily affect the fat sand rats (Psammomys obesus). Sand rats provide an opening to talk about animals that live in a desert habitat and their unique adaptations to such a harsh climate. In this study, the specimens ate well and behaved in a normal fashion, were well behaved when being petted, allowed themselves to be hand-fed, and in general exhibited no signs of stress. However, it was noted that although they could do two consecutive days of one show per day, if they did two shows in the same day, they exhibited elevated stress levels the next day if they had to travel again. Stress was demonstrated by their unwillingness to come out of the cage or eat until they returned to their night cage in the zoo. In addition, one specimen would sometimes bite the tail of the other and behave in an aggressive fashion. It is therefore recommended to have at least two teams – three would be preferable – of sand rats to alternate travelling days and relieve stress.
Rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are a clear favourite with both children and adults – they are certainly more cuddly than hissing cockroaches! Rabbits are useful to discuss how animals use their senses (large ears, large black eyes). They travel well and eat well, but some will not tolerate more than one show per day and display travel stress if the show is over a half-hour travel time away. A calm rabbit will eat and drink upon arrival, allow itself to be held and petted, and will not bite. Stress is exhibited by excessive urination and defecation, panicked running around their cage when handlers try to catch them, and a lack of appetite. Some specimens are better suited for longer travel than others and individual species' personalities may determine their suitability for longer travel.
We have used three different species of snake on the zoomobile, corn snake (Elaphe guttata), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum) and king snake (L. getulus). It should be noted here that when travelling with snakes, we placed them in a pillowcase, inside a properly sized terrarium to ensure their comfort and privacy. We also were careful not to allow the temperature inside the vehicle to become too cool. Snakes are great for this type of programme because of the various lessons that can be learned, whether discussing senses (snakes are deaf) or skins, or hunting (snakeskin purses). The king snake was the most calm and least affected by the travel and performance. It allowed itself to be held and petted and remained calm, even after long drives. The corn snake travelled fairly well, except in the days prior to moulting and when it was hungry. On those days it became anxious and would invariably coil itself around the handler's hand in a tight bracelet, nervously testing the air constantly. The milk snake specimen was the least suited for the zoomobile. It travelled well but was edgy and did not allow itself to be held or petted for long during the show, regardless of length of trip.
The African spurred tortoise (Geochelone sulcata) is an easily identifiable animal for children. One can discuss animal homes (shell), protective gear (spikes on shell) and locomotion. The tortoise travelled well for short distances but longer trips upset its digestive system. Aside from loose and watery faeces, however, there were no obvious stress-related behaviours. When the tortoise was used for more than one show per day, it tended to exhibit stress on the second trip in the form of biting and lack of appetite. It would also repeatedly seek out a hidden spot in which to rest and escape the show. When lifted, it would exhibit anxiety and alarm and thrash its legs about. It would be advisable to use tortoises once per day only, and to trade off between at least three different specimens. When taking a tortoise on a long trip, it is suggested that it be given time to wander around in an enclosed area upon arrival to calm down.
Ferrets (Mustela putorius) travel well but not over long distances. They are playful and animated, which makes them good species for zoomobiles. They also provide an opening into predator/prey, habitat, food web and locomotion discussions. When they are stressed, however, they can bite and will usually defecate on the surface the handler places them on. They must have water at all times, and be carefully watched lest they run away, as they are extremely curious and very fast. If travelling in pairs, they tend to be more relaxed, but they should not be taken out on two days in a row or engaged for two shows in a day.
Green iguanas (Iguana iguana) are hypersensitive. Though they provide easy openings for discussions on camouflage, dietary changes during development, and arboreal species, they do not enjoy being handled and tend to become much stressed during travelling. It is not advisable to take them on long road trips or for more than one show per day. In addition, the temperature in the vehicle needs to be monitored so that they do not become too cold. Upon arrival, give iguanas a dish of food and water and leave them covered somewhere quiet so that they can acclimate. When exhibiting them for the show, have a branch on a stand for them to perch comfortably upon. This will further help them to relax. Do not allow people to touch them unless you can tell that the iguana is indeed calm. They will bite, scratch and whip their tails when they stressed or excited. It is easy to conclude that iguanas should be taken on shows sparingly. With over-use, an iguana will lose weight and turn a brown colour as its metabolism becomes unbalanced due to excessive travel-related stress.
Siberian hamsters (Phodopus campbellii) are small and cute and never fail to elicit a response from children. Their physiology also offers important lessons in colours, camouflage and adaptation to climate. They travel fairly well and can be used in multiple shows per day, but they cannot be used two days in a row or they begin to bite. When travelling, put a small cardboard box or toilet-paper roll in the cage with them, as something both to hide behind and on which to gnaw. The gnawing will help them deal with their own stress. Some hamster individuals are more prone to bite than others; you will need to know your specimens.
Chinchillas (Chinchilla lanigera) are great animals for this type of programme. They provide an opening for a discussion on endangered species, breeding and reintroduction, trapping and the fur trade, and various other important lessons. Chinchillas are very sensitive to sound and become highly agitated in a noisy room. Do not take a chinchilla to a show hosting more than 20 children, as it will become stressed. If providing a playpen for the chinchilla, make sure there is also a toy inside to stimulate it, or a dust bath. This never fails to elicit a response from children. Chinchillas travel well and do not require much maintenance on the road, except to ensure that their cage or area is sufficiently cool. They need to be covered with a dark cloth upon arrival to remain calm. Large, open spaces stress chinchillas. They should not be used two shows in a row or for two consecutive days. They are sensitive to over-travelling and exhibit stress symptoms such as hair loss, weight loss, increased aggression and panicked running in the cage. They begin to resist being caught up and will bite.
Veiled chameleons (Chamaeleo calyptratus), though great for lessons in camouflage and a prime example of an insectivore, do not travel well and do not enjoy being on display. They are touchy animals, very private and solitary, and become `ornery' when travelling long distances. They are also hard to hand-feed, especially after a trip. They will become a dark brown colour, assume threatening displays and sometimes bite. It is not recommended to use chameleons on this sort of programme except once in a very long while, for a short trip and a short show – they are not really well suited for a travelling zoo.
The most markedly affected species in this programme was the eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus vosmaeri). Over the course of several months of shows, the parrot became increasingly distressed and anxious. Even drastically cutting down the number of shows he participated in per month did not help. The stress on the bird was distinctly and readily apparent. His eating habits were radically changed. He began to attack his food and then disperse it all around the floor surrounding his cage. He would eat a little and then throw it all up overnight. The parrot also began to exhibit agitated behaviours every time he saw children approaching his cage. He would fall off his perch to the bottom of the cage, his eyes would undergo rapid `pinning' (quick expansion and contraction of the irises, often a sign of stress in birds), and he would make alarm calls. When he was moved to a quieter and less public place, he would still exhibit fear whenever he saw a staff member, especially the one who was in charge of the zoomobile programme. In the end, he began feather-plucking, a sign of an emotionally disturbed bird, and was retired from the programme and the children's zoo in general. It is not clear whether large parrots as a whole fare poorly when travelling, or if this particular specimen was ill suited to the programme. However, small parakeets such as cockatiels or lovebirds may be better suited and easier to use in a travelling zoo programme. Birds provide an excellent opening to discussions about the different types of skin that animals wear, the different habitats that birds can be found in, and certain adaptations that birds have made over time to adapt to their circumstances. One can also address the evils of the pet trade, smuggling and endangerment of species, and the correlation between life forms in an ecosystem.
It is demonstrable that a zoomobile programme is both educational and entertaining and provides a much-needed service to the community for the elderly, infirm and especially for children. The needs of people, however, should not supersede the needs of the animals in terms of their nutrition and stress while participating in such programmes. Measures must be taken to ensure the health of the animals involved, and attention must be paid to their mental states in all stages of travel and show. Certain behaviours seemed to be reliable guides as to the stress levels of the different species.
In conclusion, there are indeed some species better suited to a travelling zoo programme than others. Furthermore, there are individual specimens more amenable to this than others even within the same taxa. The species used in the zoomobile programme of the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo have been described, with discussion of the levels and signs of stress in each case. Recommendations have also been made regarding their care during travel and exhibition in order to reduce their stress levels. Also, alternating between different individuals within the same species seems to allow for rest and lowers the stress levels of the animals. Suggestions have been made regarding frequency of use and care during transit for animals that are less suited to this kind of programme. It is strongly suggested that they be used sparingly to ensure their continued physical and mental health.
Different zoos may choose other species of animals in their programmes. It is advisable that a similar type of study be done on those species with regard to their stress levels.
As a final note, there is strong evidence to support the statement that there is a need for this type of programme in zoos. Though captive breeding of endangered species is an important measure in the fight to save severely endangered species worldwide, and zoos have stepped up and answered that need in force, working together on species survival plans, research into what species need to reproduce and survive, and in situ and ex situ conservation, there is an important element missing. Although these are measures taken to fight mass extinctions, little is being done to educate or train people not to perpetuate the ecological disasters of the previous generation. By creating a bond with animals they can touch, children are impressed at a young age with the need to save and preserve the animals and plants with which we share the earth as our home. Thus we create conservationists in kindergarten and first grade, instead of in college and graduate school. This lesson goes home with the children, and is spread to parents, grandparents and other family members as well.
The elderly also benefit from such programmes, though not in the same way as children, for whom the focus is on education and conservation. In shows for the elderly, the objective is much simpler, though just as profound. The zoomobile provides these individuals with `pet therapy'. They touch, hold and cuddle some very animated species, appreciating the textures they are feeling. They listen to the sounds and see the pictures of various exotic species, but the really meaningful part is the live specimens. Though less an educational tool, in this instance the zoomobile serves as a therapeutic vehicle, and provides a healthy dose of unconditional love to the elderly and severely ill. Whether the point of conservation is driven home is irrelevant when one sees the emotion and wonderment on the faces of the seniors and the ill.
Animal preservation is a top priority, but the ecological catastrophes of the future can be avoided through the type of education zoomobiles offer. If we raise the consciousness of the younger generation, we will reap the benefits in twenty years' time. Legislation will be easier to pass, land will be easier to preserve, and species will be easier to save.
The tools being used for this important work should not suffer for the sake of their message. Proper care when travelling with the zoomobile and early training are just two ways in which to ensure the mental and physical health of the animals involved. The message of conservation loses its meaning if the animals used to make the point exhibit aberrant behaviours, or are malnourished. Though conservation education is important, perhaps even more important is the concern for the welfare of the spokesmen for the cause. Thus, proper care and observation by handlers and keepers can create and ensure a smooth-running programme, with healthy and happy individuals participating.
[This paper was read on 6 October 2003 as a presentation at the 1st International Congress on Zookeeping in Alphen aan den Rijn, the Netherlands.]
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DORTMUND ZOO – A PASSION FOR SOUTH AMERICA'S WILDLIFE
BY FRANK BRANDSTÄTTER
When Dortmund Zoo, Germany, opened its doors to the public for the very first time in the year 1953 it was a small, `home-grown' animal park. Nobody would have expected it to become one of the most successful and world-renowned institutions to breed South American animals. Nevertheless, even on the first day the animal census of the park featured some animals of South American origin. Amongst them were the coypu (Myocastor coypus) and the Andean goose (Chloephaga melanoptera), which after 50 years are still to be seen in the zoo. Today, the animal collection counts no less than 120 species of South American origin, making up about 45% of the zoo's total collection (Table 1). The most popular amongst these is the giant anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla), the zoo's logo animal. No less than 45 anteaters have been bred at Dortmund so far, making it the number one breeder of this species in the world.
When the zoo was opened 50 years ago, the city of Dortmund was still recovering from the damage it suffered in World War II. The city's government was unwilling to give its citizens the zoo they wanted for their home town. Thus, it was up to the people themselves to build the first enclosures in the south of Dortmund, directly adjacent to the old botanical gardens. Set in a beautiful landscape, the young zoo developed its unique character as an animal park (with emphasis on `park') from the very beginning. The zoo's first director, Konrad Glocker, himself a garden designer, emphasized the institution's foremost characteristic as a true garden. His guidelines have always been followed, even in later years. The animal enclosures have been adapted to the neighbouring landscape, and the form of the park is still determined by its surroundings.
From the very beginning exotic animals made up the major part of the zoo's collection. In 1955 two major new attractions were added when the landmark enclosures for brown bears and Californian sea lions were opened. Both enclosures are still in appropriate use today. In keeping with the main theme of the zoo, the bear enclosure now houses a group of spectacled bears and the sea lions share their enclosures with South American fur seals, for which the zoo holds the European studbook. The enclosures' appearance has never changed through all these years. Thanks to young animal keeper Paul Andreae, who was later to become the director of the neighbouring Osnabrück Zoo, a show featuring the feeding of the sea lions was established from the beginning, and this is still one of the major attractions to the public. And the successful breeding of the species was one of the major achievements in the early days of Dortmund Zoo.
During Konrad Glocker's term as director, the zoo soon became the number one family attraction for Sunday outings. When Walter Simanowski followed him as director (1965 to 1974), the zoo became a renowned scientific institution. Its characteristic enclosures provided large amounts of space for the animals. During Simanowski's term enclosures for African hoofed animals were added and the zoo grew to more than twice its original size. A further new attraction was the Children's Petting Zoo: the opportunity to touch and feed small domestic animals was an unusual offer to the working-class people who still made up the major part of the city's population. Today, the children's petting zoo is still a major attraction at Dortmund Zoo. It is incorporated in the Farmyard Area, which has been designed to house rare breeds of domestic animals. The architecture of the main building is the same as is found in old Westphalian farmhouses. Thus, together with the white goat, the typical domestic animal of the region between the two world wars, the zoo is preserving not only part of our natural heritage but also some of the cultural heritage of Germany.
Although the zoo has never changed the structure of its historical parts, its present look clearly shows the influence of the work of long-time director Dr Wolf Bartmann, who ran the zoo from 1974 to 2000. With him, Dortmund's metamorphosis into an internationally renowned modern zoo was completed. Dr Bartmann was responsible for bringing in some of the zoo's most important and interesting animals. It was his devotion that gave the zoo its expertise and reputation with giant anteaters in particular, and also with the whole order of Xenarthra and the neotropical fauna in general.
The zoo's first anteaters arrived in 1975. The first offspring was recorded in 1976, and from that time on the breeding of the species has never stopped. Meanwhile, another anteater species, the tamandua (Tamandua tetradactyla), is now also bred successfully on a regular basis. The zoo holds the International Studbook and the EEP for the giant anteater. Other South American species bred successfully (and most of them regularly) include maned wolf, two-toed sloth, Brazilian tapir, hyacinth macaw and southern pudu.
Wolf Bartmann imprinted his unique touch on the zoo. All the major buildings in the zoo were designed and built during his term, and blend perfectly into the surrounding landscape with its lush vegetation. The famous Tamandua House is unique in the fact that it is probably the only building in the world exclusively designed to house several species of xenarthrans. The giraffe building houses the largest herd of Angolan giraffes (Giraffa camelopardalis angolensis) outside Africa. The Amazon Jungle House, opened in 1992, gives a small-scale impression of the Amazon river basin's ecosystem. Dispersed on three floors, the house shows free-ranging birds, mammals and reptiles, with aquaria holding fish from the Amazon system as well as frogs, snakes, crocodiles, monkeys and spiders in specially designed enclosures. The last building opened at the zoo to date was the Giant Otter House (1998). The giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) will be one of the zoo's focus animals in the future. Strong efforts have been made to form a breeding group of this rare species, but further work will be needed to achieve this difficult goal.
When Wolf Bartmann retired in 2000 due to a severe health condition, long-time assistant Ilona Schappert took over as interim director. With her and the new director, Dr Frank Brandstätter, who began his term in 2001, the zoo leaped into the new millennium. A plan was set up which stressed the historical rule of keeping the zoo's essential `park-like' character. The future characteristics of the animal collection have been determined by three `golden rules':
1.Continuing to specialize in South American animals;
2.Focusing on conservation, i.e. keeping as many animals as possible within the framework of international breeding programmes and initiating in situ projects;
3.Focusing on education and keeping animals with a strong educational, sympathetic and conservational status.
Thus, the zoo clearly supports the World Zoo Conservation Strategy and is determined to improve the animals' enclosures. Apart from developing a new presentation scheme for focus animals such as the xenarthrans and the giant otters, there are two major projects for the near future:
1.The building of the new Rainforest House `Rumah Hutan', originally designed as a new enclosure for the zoo's Sumatran orang-utans (Pongo abeli), who are going to share their enclosure with Malayan tapirs in this unique building dedicated to the jungles of South-East Asia. The building itself is a true counterpart to the above-mentioned Amazon Jungle House, stressing the biogeographical sisterhood of these two ecosystems as well as the present critical situation of both of them.
2.The building of new enclosures for the zoo's rhinos (currently Diceros bicornis). The `Rhino Park' is going to be one of the centrepoints in the future zoo.
Dortmund Zoo has always been aware of the needs of its animals; but it is still improving, and will continue to be one of the most important institutions in the cultural life of the city of Dortmund.
Dr Frank Brandstätter, Zoo Dortmund, Mergelteichstrasse 80, 44225 Dortmund, Germany (E-mail: email@example.com).
Table 1. South American mammals and birds in the collection of Dortmund Zoo.
Aotus trivirgatus Owl Monkey
Pithecia pithecia pithecia White‑faced Saki
Saimiri sciureus sciureus Common Squirrel Monkey
Callimico goeldii Goeldi's Monkey
Cebuella pygmaea Pygmy Marmoset
Saguinus oedipus Cotton‑top Tamarin
Myrmecophaga tridactyla Giant Anteater
Tamandua tetradactyla Tamandua
Choloepus didactylus Two‑toed Sloth
Chaetophractus villosus Brown Hairy Armadillo
Dasypus novemcinctus Nine‑banded Armadillo
Cavia aperea Wild Cavy
Dolichotis patagona Mara
Hydrochaeris hydrochaeris Capybara
Dasyprocta leporina Orange‑rumped Agouti
Myoprocta pratti Acouchi
Myocastor coypus Coypu
Chrysocyon brachyurus Maned Wolf
Speothos venaticus Bush Dog
Tremarctos ornatus Spectacled Bear
Nasua nasua Coati
Procyon cancrivorus Crab‑eating Raccoon
Pteronura brasiliensis Giant Otter
Felis pardalis Ocelot
Felis tigrinus Oncilla
Felis wiedii Margay
Felis yagouaroundi Jaguarundi
Panthera onca Jaguar
Arctocephalus australis South American Fur Seal
Tapirus terrestris Brazilian Tapir
Tayassi tajacu Peccary
Lama guanicoe Guanaco
Vicugna vicugna Vicugna
Pudu pudu Southern Pudu
Pterocnemia pennata Darwin's Rhea
Rhea americana Common Rhea
Spheniscus humboldti Humboldt's Penguin
Phoenicopterus chilensis Chilean Flamingo
Phoenicopterus ruber American Flamingo
Chauna torquata Crested Screamer
Coscoroba coscoroba Coscoroba Swan
Cygnus melancoryphus Black‑necked Swan
Amazonetta brasiliensis Brazilian Teal
Callonetta leucophrys Ringed Teal
Chloephaga melanoptera Andean Goose
Cathartes aura Turkey Vulture
Coragyps atratus Black Vulture
Sarcoramphus papa King Vulture
Vultur gryphus Andean Condor
Phalcoboenus megalopterus Mountain Caracara
Polyborus plancus Crested Caracara
Crax rubra rubra Mexican Curassow
Jacana jacana Central American Jacana
Cariama cristata Red-legged Seriema
Amazona autumnalis lilacina Lilacine Amazon
Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus Hyacinth Macaw
Ara macao Scarlet Macaw
Ara militaris Military Macaw
Ara rubrogenys Red‑fronted Macaw
Aratinga acuticaudata Blue‑crowned Conure
Cyanoliseus patagonus Patagonian Conure
Myiopsitta monachus Monk Parakeet
Guira guira Guira Cuckoo
Speotyto cunicularia Burrowing Owl
Strix perspicillata Spectacled Owl
Pitangus lictor Lesser Kiskadee
Sicalis flaveola Saffron Finch
Amblyramphus holosericeus Scarlet‑headed Blackbird
Gymnomystax mexicanus Oriole Blackbird
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THE SENSE AND NONSENSE OF THE WALK-THROUGH: AMERSFOORT ZOO'S NEW NOCTURNAL EXHIBIT
BY ERIK VAN VLIET
In efforts to bring zoo visitors as close as possible to animals, the last barriers seem to have been eliminated by the development of walk-through exhibits. In whatever form they arise, walk-throughs are alluring and exciting experiences – often, though, slightly appealing to a desire for sensation. The balance between a genuine free wildlife experience and a cheap tourist trap is fragile. At Amersfoort Zoo, the Netherlands, we recently opened De Nacht (The Night), a walk-through nocturnal exhibit, my reason for an analysis of the walk-through phenomenon.
The walk-through idea is by no means new. Assyrian and Persian monarchs sometimes housed their animal collections in settings probably more reminiscent of safari parks than of zoological gardens. Some wealthy Romans designed dining rooms incorporated within aviaries, rather as zoos tend to situate catering outlets and terraces within tropical settings with free-flying birds.
In modern zoos, too, birds were among the first animals to be exhibited in walk-through exhibits. In the 1960s, though, more spectacular scenes arose. The first lion drive-through opened in 1963 in Tama Zoological Park in Tokyo. In double-glazed buses, visitors made a tour through a one-hectare enclosure with twelve lions. The `own car' variation of the lion park caused a sensation when it spread from Britain to the European continent and the rest of the world and led to the safari boom that disrupted the zoo community so vigorously. Walk-throughs with reptiles, Barbary apes, South American monkeys and various species of rodents, marsupials and smaller ungulates followed. Today, walk-throughs with lemurs of various kinds are popping up all over Europe. The next steps underway include wade-through and swim-through marine mammal and fish displays; and at Amersfoort Zoo the idea arose of creating a walk-through nocturnal rain forest.
The sensation factor
But why? Wouldn't a nocturnal walk-through merely represent a wish to provoke the pointless excitement of meeting quasi-free, spooky living animals in the – likewise sensational – creepy dark? And why should one want to have a walk-through anyway?
It might seem that the removal of the final barrier does not contribute to anything else but a sensationalist thrill. Landscape immersion techniques can make the illusion of free-living animals so convincing that one does not need the animal to really cross the visitor's path, with all the risks and extra costs involved. The true appeal of many walk- and drive-through exhibits is the chance (or the fear, so dearly missed in daily life) of physical contact with animals. The squirrel monkey or ring-tailed lemur on one's shoulder is the number one photo trophy of the primate walk-through. But in a well-managed primate section the keeper is present to prevent any more intimate contact than that. The thrilling fear that the car's engine might break down causes an improbably high number of safari visitors with engine problems in the middle of lion sections in safari parks all over Europe. And a bird is more of a bird when it can shit on your head!
An understandable disappointment, though, arises when a child is not allowed to fulfil the ultimate desire to hold, cuddle, stroke or even just feel the soft fur of a monkey or other walk-through inmate. So though the last barrier has been levelled, the visitor is still not allowed to really cross it. A sensible child understands. But a don't-touch-walk-through still feels a bit like making love without climaxing. If a walk-through consists of the same old non-walk-through structures, a little bit bigger perhaps, where the animals can be seen immediately upon entering, it really seems no more than a cheap suggestion of an unfulfilled childhood dream.
The authentic shivering
Where a walk-through approach really makes the difference is when one does not see any animals at first sight. Nature dominates on both sides of the trail and one does not know where to look. And then all of sudden something moves in the foliage. If the visitor's natural hunting instincts are intact and he is silent, does not move and has patience, he catches more than a glimpse. The credible nature experience is the attraction. Spotting the animal is the bonus. The challenge is to make sure that you are the one in the family who saw it first. It is a context that really does generate an authentic shivering comparable with that of spotting wildlife in nature.
The nocturnal walk-through
With all this in mind, we decided to revitalize the once exiting, now seemingly disappearing, nocturnal exhibit concept in a new form. To recreate a nocturnal rain forest in a walk-through approach with the described surprise elements as vital ingredients seemed relatively easy. It is dark at night, after all, and the visitor's sight only reaches the walls of the building, which we covered with tree trunks. Between these covering trunks and the visitor so many other trunks are positioned that a credible forest feeling has been created. Above one's head it is dark, so one does not see the ceiling and the fact that the forest consists merely of trunks, not of whole trees. Humidity, noises and the splashing of the river complete the required atmosphere. The total area is only 600 m2, but because of the darkness and the winding trails and river boardwalks, visitors experience the space as a lot bigger. The presence of live plants and rotting tree trunks prevents the sterile atmosphere of many old-fashioned nocturnal houses.
In the African section one can have encounters with giant galagos (Otolemur crassicaudatus), brush-tailed porcupines (Atherurus africanus) and giant jumping rats (Hypogeomys antimena). Australia features short-nosed rat-kangaroos (Bettongia penicillata ogilbyi) and brush-tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula), and the South American section houses douroucoulis (Aotus lemurinus) and golden-rumped agoutis (Dasyprocta leporina). In the first week after the opening on 26 June, only the two marsupial species were regularly and easily seen. The possums, in particular, have an underestimated charismatic appeal comparable with that of their so much less active cousin the koala. Possums and rat kangaroos do not move when approached. For the two primate species it took a bit longer.
In the mean time we went ahead with a scheme of guided experience. Two systems are applied, depending on the expected attendance volume. Normally the guest ventures into The Night individually, with guides available for questions and to get the guests into the right mood. The guides are either keepers, members of our volunteer story-telling team, or have an entertainment background. They all know where animals can be expected.
On the quiet days visitors wait in the pre-show which reflects the ambience of an African village, with a yard holding yellow mongooses. At least every fifteen minutes a night safari is offered for groups of about fifteen members of the public.
In both systems guides, equipped with a sense for story-telling and drama, generate unforgettable experiences. Whole families kneel down on the floor of the Australian rainforest, every nerve strained to be ready for the magic moment to see if the rat kangaroo does or does not jump out of the bush onto the path. In most cases, the rat kangaroo does. . .
Erik van Vliet, Beethovenweg 8C, 3816 MC Amersfoort, The Netherlands (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
In your editorial in IZN 50 (5) you forgot to mention Antwerp Zoo, Belgium, which always had a close connection with the arts world. In 1993, at the celebrations for its 150 years in existence, the zoo opened a permanent exhibition of world-class sculpture, all animal-related. That idea was later taken over by Berlin Zoo for its own 150th anniversary celebrations the following year. Theirs was an exhibition of white porcelain figures, and catalogues have been published, including a catalogue of the most famous posters of the zoo's 150-year history. Several of them were from famous artists.
Antwerp Zoo has always had a close relationship with the Royal Academy in the city, and allowed and encouraged students and teachers to look for their life models in the zoo grounds. It has also always published reports on its art collection in special publications from the series Pro Natura et Scientia. I remember, among others, a complete inventory of art works in 1975, a special Bugatti issue, and issues about graphic art in 1972 and 1977.
I am sure that you will find more `old' zoos with a similar combination of interests. It is a pity that with modern-style management and restricted budgets, a return to the core activities is promoted, forgetting the long artistic and cultural history of the place.
United Arab Emirates.
Regarding your comments on art in zoo publications (Editorial, IZN 50:5), I would mention that the covers of Animal Keepers' Forum (the journal of the American Association of Animal Keepers) always feature an animal drawn by a keeper. There is always a `blurb' inside about the artist and the animal. A very nice, and personal, feature. And there are some very good keeper-artists out there!
Another aspect of Germany's zoo/art/society angle is the prolific use of special postmarks to commemorate zoo anniversaries and activities. Germany has probably issued more zoo-related stamps than any other country, and the number of special postmarks is beyond comprehension (or anyone's ability to collect them all). Their zoo journals often feature articles on these stamp issues and postmarks as well. Other countries have issued zoo stamps, though in far fewer numbers, but the U.S. never has. Occasionally there is a special postmark issued here, but ours are not noted and publicized like they are in Germany.
CM Selector – History of Science, Environmental Sciences, Life Sciences,
Marston Science Library,
University of Florida,
[My editorial could indeed have included many more instances of `zoo art'. It was very remiss of me, for example, to omit any reference to the covers of Animal Keepers' Forum, which I see and enjoy every month. And I don't know how I forgot to mention the sculptures and paintings commissioned by John Aspinall and now on show to visitors at Howletts and, especially, Port Lympne. – Nicholas Gould.]
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CHASING THE PANDA: HOW AN UNLIKELY PAIR OF ADVENTURERS WON THE RACE TO CAPTURE THE MYTHICAL `WHITE BEAR' by M. Kiefer. Four Walls Eight Windows, New York, 2002. v + 230 pp., hardback. ISBN 1–56858–223–4. US$24.95 (= c. £15 or #22).
Zoo history is also the history of individual animals and the people involved with them. The giant panda is such a rare animal in zoological gardens that all are individually known by name. Thanks to the media many people all over the world became familiar with Chi-Chi and An-An in the late 1960s. It is also common knowledge (or is it? Hopefully it is in zoo circles) that Su-Lin was the first-ever giant panda in captivity (Brookfield Zoo, Chicago, 8.II.1937 to 1.IV.1938). The names of the people connected with the species have earned their place in history and should be familiar to most insiders: Père David, Kermit and Theodore Roosevelt, Ruth Harkness, Dwight Davis, Heini Demmer, Desmond Morris, George Schaller, to name only the most important players in the field.
The first live giant panda to reach a zoo in the western hemisphere was caught and delivered by a determined but naive American woman, Ruth McCombs, whose exploits have been published by herself and referred to by many others. She had no other connections in the animal trade than having been married to William Harkness, who had some experience in the field but promptly died after a marriage of less than 18 months, for most of which he was away in China. Her book subsequently kindled a lot of controversy and Michael Kiefer, an Arizona journalist and author, has tried to reconstruct events and put things in their proper perspective by tracing the persons involved and delving into the archives of various institutions. He has been remarkably successful in this, as he was able to trace some of the actors in person and also to contact surviving family members: the book has been in the making for more than ten years and most of the interviewees are now deceased.
Ruth Harkness is vindicated, but Kiefer makes it very clear that she could never have achieved what she did without the indispensable assistance of two young Chinese-American naturalists, Quentin Young and (to a lesser extent) his older brother Jack Young. The latter retired and died as a full colonel in the U.S. army, but Quentin still lives in somewhat straitened circumstances in southern California. He led an adventurous life, well worth reading about, through tumultuous times (including a succession of wars) in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Dutch East Indies/Indonesia and the U.S.A.. As Kiefer rightly concludes, Chasing the Panda is not a book about pandas but about early panda hunters. The story is well written and the illustrations are most interesting. The only flaw in this entertaining book is the reproduction of the rare photos, which certainly deserve a better quality of paper.
A.C. van Bruggen
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BERLIN ZOO AND TIERPARK BERLIN-FRIEDRICHSFELDE, GERMANY, 2001–2002
There have been some important developments at the two zoos of Berlin and the Aquarium im Zoo during the period 2001/2002. Despite Bernhard Blaszkiewitz's regular reports about Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde in IZN and some journals in Germany, and the annual reports of both collections, many readers may be interested to get some more information on these important zoological gardens.
First of all, Dr Hans Frädrich, director of Berlin Zoo, retired at his 65th birthday on 5 July 2002. Hans Frädrich worked at the zoo for about 36 years, the last eleven years as director. During this time he not only initiated many small changes which made the zoo much more interesting and comfortable for visitors, but also developed and opened two important new buildings, the hippo house and the penguin house, the latter together with a large new pool for sea lions. Dr Frädrich is followed as director by Dr Jürgen Lange, for nearly 25 years curator and director of the Aquarium im Zoo.
All three institutions have seen many highlights during the two years. You can find details in the annual reports of the Tierpark and the Zoo, both written in German, with a short English summary in the annual report of the Tierpark and a two-page English summary in Berlin Zoo's annual journal Bongo.
Heaviest of all births were the two elephants at Tierpark Berlin. The third African elephant in the Tierpark's history was born on 4 May 2001, a female named Tana. Her mother is 20-year-old Pori, who successfully reared this, her first offspring. On 2 November 2001 the Asian elephant Kewa gave birth to a female named Temi. This was her second calf, but sadly the first one, in 1998, was stillborn. Births to some other large mammals have been less successful. A manatee gave birth to twins in 2001, but one was stillborn and the other lived only one day. The Indian rhinoceros Betty had her first calf, but unfortunately it had to be euthanased as it had a broken limb and broken ribs, presumably from an accident with its mother during the night. Indian rhinos are kept in both zoos, so difficulties with the incompatibility of animals can be solved by an exchange between the two zoos. Hopes are that in the near future two more Indian rhinos will be born in Berlin. The black rhinos at the zoo only had a miscarriage in 2001, but the male paired with all the females and there are good hopes of some young in 2003. The old male white rhino Hlambamans died in 2002 at the age of 42. He arrived at the zoo in 1964 together with a female, the first of their species in a German zoo, but unfortunately never bred.
At the Zoo the most important birth was a female okapi, Ibina, who was successfully reared by her mother Vita. It was the first rearing of an okapi at Berlin Zoo. The nearest relatives of the okapi, giraffes, bred in both collections – a male reticulated giraffe was reared at the Zoo in 2001, and the Rothschild's giraffes at the Tierpark had two young in 2002. Other ungulates bred as well as ever in both years and both zoos: worth mentioning are Mesopotamian fallow deer, Vietnamese sika, Timor deer and white-lipped deer at the Tierpark and musk deer, pudu and Philippine spotted deer at the Zoo. The latter species reared 2.2 young in 2001 and a further 2.0 in 2002. With the import of some new animals to Europe in 2002 there is a good chance of the survival of this species in European zoos. Altogether 23 species of antelope bred, among them 3.0 red forest duiker, 1.2 bongo, 4.2 Kirk's dikdik and 0.1 dama gazelle at the Zoo and 2.6 mountain reedbuck, 3.5 Arabian oryx and 0.3 mhorr gazelle at the Tierpark. Himalayan tahr bred well at the Zoo with four young, as did markhor, Cretan wild goat, Afghanistan urial, goral, blue sheep, musk ox and Mishmi takin at the Tierpark. The Szechuan takin had their first young, but it was a stillbirth and had to be delivered by caesarean operation; we hope that in the coming years this pair will have some more offspring. Perissodactyls bred well in both collections, with Grevy's zebra, Hartmann's mountain zebra, Somali wild ass and eastern kiang, to mention only the most important.
Both zoos have a large collection of carnivores, and breeding results are as good as ever. The greatest interest among scientists, the zoo world and the general public was focused on the breeding efforts of Yan Yan and Bao Bao, the giant pandas at Berlin Zoo. As in previous years, the veterinarians tried artificial insemination of Yan Yan, but unfortunately without success. She will stay at the zoo for some years more: her visit was originally scheduled to end in 2001, but the Chinese government has agreed that she can stay in Berlin for a further five years. This time will be used to impregnate her by either artificial or natural insemination. Both pandas are now in different parts of the carnivore house, Yan Yan in the old panda enclosures which have been remodelled and made more appropriate to the species' life-style, and Bao Bao in the former tiger enclosure, where he can walk amid the natural vegetation of birch and poplar with undergrowth. Here he not only seems to lead a natural and happy life but also gives the public a much better impression of where and how pandas live.
Other notable carnivores which bred successfully were the two species of Malagasy mongoose at the Zoo, sand cats, Pallas's cats, Gordon's wild cats and snow leopards. A new pair of maned wolves bred for the first time and reared their two offspring successful at the Tierpark, as did the African hunting dogs with their 3.5 young at the Zoo. Spectacled bears had two cubs at the Tierpark, and sloth bears two cubs at the Zoo.
Primates were successful, with 27 breeding species. Only the Zoo has apes, and there were some interesting changes. Two animals died of old age, chimpanzee Sam, who was born at the zoo in 1952 and died in 2001, and Sumatran orang-utan Babu, who arrived as an adult in 1962 and died in 2002 – so she was more than 50 years old. She reared three sons, one of whom is still breeding (at Hagenbeck's Tierpark in Hamburg). Another death was that of the female gorilla Dufte, who was the first gorilla born at Berlin Zoo. She was well known far beyond Berlin, as when she and her daughter Mpenzi gave birth within a fortnight of each other, Mpenzi rejected her baby but Dufte adopted it and reared both infants together. A famous scene on German TV showed her walking upright with the two babies sitting on her belly.
Altogether over this two-year period the two zoos bred 172 species of wild mammal, including 41 species of rodent, a speciality of Tierpark Berlin.
Birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish bred well too, most notably the birds with 175 wild species reared. Berlin Zoo's kiwis had two unfertilized eggs in 2002. After a long break, it was the beginning of further breeding success with this species, for in 2003 two kiwis hatched. To mention only a few others, black-footed penguins bred at both collections, and Humboldt's penguins at the Tierpark. Four species of pelican bred. The Tierpark is a well-known breeder of pelicans and reared 11 specimens of three species. Berlin Zoo was the first in Germany to successfully breed pelicans in 1964; on that occasion this took place in the summer. But after 1967 the colony stopped breeding for a long time; they only started again in 2002, this time during the winter as is usual in most zoos in Europe. Two species hatched, two Dalmatian pelicans and three pink-backed pelicans. The flamingos did very well too. In the Tierpark's colony 23 chicks hatched, 14 of which were Cuban flamingos. At the Zoo an Andean and a James's flamingo were reared in 2001. Both species are very rare in captivity and have only small colonies in the wild. Berlin is one of the very few zoos which keep and breed these two species of the Andean highlands. The first success was as early as 1976, and since then these species have bred more or less regularly.
Besides demoiselle and red-crowned cranes, the Tierpark bred its first Siberian white crane by artificial insemination; the chick was reared by a turkey. Important parrot breeding successes included military and hyacinth macaws at the Tierpark, Mexican military macaw at both zoos, and Illiger's macaw and red-tailed black cockatoo at the Zoo. The latter had to be hand-reared as the parents bred in an outside aviary in October, and a sudden period of cold weather was too dangerous for the birds.
Verreaux's eagles had fertilized eggs, but the young died during hatching in March 2001 at the Tierpark. A new bird of prey at the Tierpark is the lesser yellow-headed vulture (Cathartes burrovianus), a species similar to the turkey vulture but much less frequently kept in zoos. Nuremberg Zoo recently bred Steller's sea eagle for the first time in Germany, and the young, who hatched in April 2001, arrived at the Tierpark in October of the same year.
Hornbills bred only at the Tierpark, where the eastern yellow-billed hornbills had ten young in four clutches during the two years.
Building and development
The most expensive and complex development is the new area for penguins and seals at Berlin Zoo. The old seal cliffs which were erected by Ludwig Heck in 1932 were reconstructed and renovated. The two small pools planned in 1932 for otters and elephant seals were joined and enlarged. Now they are a home for the breeding group of harbour seals. The former pool for this species on the north side of the seal rock was enlarged to a small `ocean' with 730,000 litres of water. Its cliffs are built of natural rock. The visitor can see sea lions from different perspectives, walking on the old high passage about the seal rock, at sea-level and under water. On the eastern side there is a small enclosure for a small species of otters. But most impressive and most expensive is the house for penguins. In large outside enclosures live breeding groups of black-footed and Humboldt's penguins. Both enclosures also have underwater viewing. As both species live naturally in temperate climates, they can stay outside all year round without problems. Only in winter when the temperature falls far below zero – in Berlin it sometimes drops to minus 20°C – will they be protected against the frost. When the visitor passes through the doors into the round building, which is covered with plants growing in soil, he steps into the world of Antarctica. As in other modern penguin houses, he looks into an Antarctic landscape with waterfall, ice and rocks. In this landscape live the breeding colony of king penguins and a small group of rockhoppers which some years ago bred regularly. Divided from the public by big glass panels, the penguins have a large area for walking and a very large pool of 240,000 litres. The visitors' route is alongside this pool, and they can see the penguins swimming under water through the glass. Educational and interactive materials give the public a lot of information on penguins and their environment.
The historic Aquarium at the Zoo was enlarged in 1980. The new building east of the old part contained five landscaped enclosures. There were also a further large tank for sharks and a round pool in which visitors could see fish swimming around almost endlessly in the same direction. After the enlargement of the shark tank, the round pool was rebuilt in 2001. It was extended to the wall and the water level was raised, doubling the volume of water. After the enlargement of the pool in the first of the landscape enclosures, the others were remodelled in 2002. The large planted part of the enclosures was reduced and the water areas nearly doubled in size. In this part of the aquarium the visitor travels from the rivers of southern Asia and South America respectively to the coast, the coral reefs and lastly to the open sea. The new size and decoration of the aquaria was not possible without enormous changes behind the scenes, both in building and technology.
When the Tierpark opened its house for African monkeys on 21 December 2000 the outside enclosures were not finished. They were opened on 12 April 2001, and the large groups of such monkeys as geladas, mangabeys and patas monkeys now have spacious room to move. The enclosures are planted with natural vegetation and have trees and branches for climbing. Trunks or rocks are used as sitting posts.
Another important development was the opening of the new breeding aviaries for birds of prey. Where the former Greifvogelring was sited, six new aviaries each with an area of 100 m2 and a height of 5.5 m were erected. They replace the former collection of much smaller aviaries in which some very rare breedings of birds of prey took place. A small house with three aviaries for tropical owls is also part of the new complex. The total costs of #900.000 were contributed by the public.
In 2002 the Tierpark made an important step forward. At the eastern side of the grounds was a rubble slope, called the Kippe [`edge']. This large area of some 25 ha had long belonged to the Tierpark but was unused except for a big enclosure for the second group of white-lipped deer. On 25 November 2002 director Bernhard Blaszkiewitz opened the first six-hectare section of a new development here. Six new large enclosures for ungulates of the Asian highlands, a 700-m2 aviary for a pair of Steller's sea eagles and a large enclosure for Eurasian lynx form the Asian part of the Kippe. Only one new species, the lynx, is kept here – the others, such as the breeding groups of Afghanistan urial, blue sheep and goral, have been in the Tierpark for a long time. In the former enclosures of these species now live breeding pairs of cranes. The second part of the Kippe, the European Alps, will be opened in 2003. Another project was financed partially by the Förderer des Tierparks [`Sponsors of the Tierpark']. The winter house for pelicans makes it possible for visitors to see these marvellous birds all the year round: until now the whole breeding group spent the winter in the off-exhibit breeding centre. Now the birds which are too young or too old, or will not breed for any other reason, live in the new house, making the breeding space for the other birds more comfortable and allowing the public to see pelicans in winter too.
Both zoos and the Aquarium are engaged in many conservation activities at home and abroad. They participate in many breeding programmes, and the Zoo and Tierpark are holders of, respectively, three and four international studbooks. The gaur and white and black rhinoceros studbooks were published at the end of 2001, the studbooks of Asian wild ass, African wild ass, Mesopotamian fallow deer and Vietnamese sika deer are published annually. Besides this intensive work they participate in many EEPs and ESBs. Many of the breeding programmes mean that the collection involved has to support in situ conservation in the homelands of the respective species. The zoos gave money to the okapi project in Congo, to the spotted deer project in the Philippines, to the re-establishment of waldrapp in Morocco and to the support of giant pandas in China. At home both zoos were engaged in the Unteres Odertal National Park, a large protected area on the border between Germany and Poland. Other projects which got financial support were those for riverine rabbit (Bunolagus monticularis) in South Africa and cloud rats in the Philippines.
Science and publications
Research in both zoos and the aquarium was not only done by the scientists and curators working there. Most research is done by students and teachers of the universities of Berlin and Potsdam, but also of other universities. The zoo published two issues of its journal Bongo, containing the annual reports of the respective years and scientific and popular papers. The Tierpark published four issues of its journal Milu, completing the tenth volume in 2002. Altogether more than 250 papers dealing with the collections were published by members of the staff or friends and colleagues of the zoos and aquarium. Members of staff also belong to the editorial boards of some important scientific or avicultural journals like Der Zoologische Garten and Die Gefiederte Welt.
Numbers of visitors are traditionally high at the Berlin collections. More than 1,068,000 people in 2001 and more than 1,112,000 in 2002 visited the Tierpark. Approximate figures for the Zoo and Aquarium were 1,602,000 and 938,000 (2001) and 1,686,000 and 969,000 (2002). For many years visitor numbers have remained nearly stable, showing the high importance of the zoos and the aquarium for the recreation and education of the people.
The Zoo and the Aquarium completed some very expensive and important projects during these two years. Intensive discussion of coming developments will bring further changes, with new and modernized buildings. At the Tierpark the development of the Kippe will be the focus of all activities for the coming years. Besides this, some minor projects will be funded by the Förderer des Tierparks and by the public, such as the breeding centre for small cat species near the Alfred Brehm-Haus. The number of species will remain stable in the collections, making Berlin a place of pilgrimage for all enthusiasts for biodiversity.
DENVER ZOO, COLORADO, U.S.A.
Extracts from the 2002 Annual Report
Primate Division (by John Wortman)
Congo Basin, a $3.3 million construction project that eventually covered a little over an acre [0.4 ha] of the 7.2-acre [2.9-ha] Primate Panorama, officially opened on 1 August. This series of exhibits, support facilities, and interpretive displays consists of three outdoor stainless steel mesh enclosures, two fronted by glass viewing ports from a public viewing vestibule, and a non-public animal holding building. Species housed at Congo Basin are mandrill, De Brazza's monkey, blue duiker and silvery-cheeked hornbill. A highlight of the new area is the mandrill display, which features a precocious female baby, the first reproduction of this rare primate at Denver in more than 15 years.
The colobus monkey display became another mixed-species enclosure with the addition of a pair of klipspringers (Oreotragus oreotragus); a small barn, an off-exhibit holding yard and a ramp connected to the public display were constructed to provide the young antelopes housing and access to the colobus enclosure. They can be frequently observed zipping around the enclosure and bounding straight up the rocks to stand right beside a resting colobus monkey.
African cultural displays were added to the Shamba section of Primate Panorama, with a section of the public patio area developed to illustrate a typical wood carver's hut and outdoor work area. A sound system was added to depict typical village sounds and African bird songs. An outdoor raised platform for keepers to toss food to our lowland gorillas was installed. This encourages the gorillas to be out and visible in their yard during late morning hours, ensuring the animals' presence at the time of the morning educational tours.
For the fifth year in a row, a pair of free-ranging, radio-collared golden lion tamarins lived outdoors in Primate Panorama's trees for the summer. Our volunteers furnished information about primate conservation and behavior to thousands of zoo visitors who stopped to observe these colorful monkeys bouncing around their summer habitat.
Large Mammal Division (by Dale Leeds)
A highlight of 2002 was the acquisition of a pair of young grizzly bears. As the result of a cooperative effort between the zoo and state and federal agencies, Kootenai, a male orphaned in Montana, arrived in Denver in June. We wanted a companion for him, and while we certainly did not wish for another tragedy in the wild, we found another orphaned cub in Alaska. The female, Tundra, arrived at the zoo in August. After a quarantine period and some exhibit renovation, the two young grizzlies were moved to Bear Mountain where they have proven to be a very popular feature. These bears would not have survived unless a suitable zoo home was located. We were very pleased to aid in their rescue and provide them with a permanent home.
Another important event was the birth of our first litter of African wild dog puppies following the 2001 importation of a trio of young adults from South Africa. We are happy to report that a litter of seven (2.5) was born in February 2002 and successfully parent-raised without incident. We were proud to have been able to reproduce this endangered species so soon after their arrival. Our long-term plans for working with this species include an advanced operant conditioning program to enhance a major new exhibit for these unique canines.
Bird Division (by John Azúa)
A Herculean effort was put forth by all staff members to develop `Lorikeet Adventure', a new interactive bird exhibit that was open to the public throughout the summer season. Red, violet-necked, blue-streaked, dusky, ornate and rainbow lories made up the group of 35 free-flying birds available for public feedings and up-close observations by our visitors. Total seasonal attendance was 103,000, with 14,948 nectar cups sold for the public feedings. Due to the exhibit's popularity, 25 more rainbow lories were acquired in the latter part of the year to increase flock size and prepare for a festive season in 2003.
There were several additions to the rainforest room in Bird World. A female victoria crowned pigeon, a wonderful species with its uniquely ornate headdress, was introduced to the exhibit and has become a real crowd-pleaser. Three woolly-necked storks and four waldrapp ibis were also added and can be seen high in the trees and on cliff ledges. Other species acquired were pairs of Inca terns, blue-bellied rollers, magnificent fruit doves, and gaudy barbets, as well as flocks of Pekin robins and golden-breasted starlings. The latter group is a wonderful sight during the daily `Bug Tosses' offered to zoo visitors by the keepers. In addition, the Avian Propagation Center received several new birds for intensified efforts in captive breeding. Pairs of lesser green broadbills, Jambu fruit doves, turquoise tanagers, blue dacnis and fairy bluebirds were acquired and established at the center.
Several species successfully reproduced. The Chilean flamingo flock produced a total of 44 eggs in 2002, a record number. Eight chicks were hatched after being artificially incubated, with a total of five successfully parent-reared and weaned. This is a record for the zoo. In addition, a pair of Egyptian plovers parent-raised one female chick; this is the second successful breeding of this pair in the past three years and represents the only breeding program for this species in the U.S. Our staff were called upon for their incubation expertise when the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo transferred a fertile cinereous vulture egg to us for artificial incubation. A chick was successfully hatched after approximately 53 days and then returned to Colorado Springs to be placed back under the parents for rearing. A spangled cotinga pair hatched a chick, but unfortunately it only survived for 36 days. A pair of fairy bluebirds successfully hatched and reared a chick at the Propagation Center. In addition, smew, red-crested pochards, Bahama pintails and hooded mergansers were successfully reared.
Reptiles/Fishes Division (by Rick Haeffner)
Tropical Discovery's year ended with an exciting event, the hatching of two Komodo dragons. On 1 November, during a routine incubator check, zookeeper Tim Trout found that two baby dragons had hatched. We had all expected at least another three weeks of incubation before seriously anticipating hatching, but Ramah and Satu slit their eggs and emerged overnight to our pleasant surprise on day 222. Though all the baby dragons hatched in U.S. institutions had previously been raised alone, we decided that we would make every attempt to raise these two together. At first there was some aggression, and a few small bites that required a couple of stitches, but within a week they were completely compatible, and continue to live together in the nursery of the Komodo dragon building.
Tom Weaver, our newest zookeeper, was successful in the breeding of smoky jungle frogs (Leptodactylus pentadactylus). This species, the second largest frog in South America, builds a giant foam nest from its skin secretions. Tom was able to induce the frogs to breed with simulated rainstorms alternating with dry periods to replicate natural environmental conditions. After depositing eggs in the foam nest, the female remained nearby, adding secretions to maintain the nest, until the tadpoles were removed and reared in finger bowls.
A significant addition to the collection was that of 15 Panamanian golden frogs (Atelopus zeteki). These rare frogs are part of a conservation initiative among several AZA institutions [see IZN 49 (2), pp. 107–8 – Ed.]. Several zoos, including Denver, sent animal staff to Panama to work with the government and local population to preserve this species. Because of its sensitivity to environmental changes and high profile with the Panamanian people, the golden frog is a flagship species for rain forest preservation. We hope to breed this species in 2003 and help with possible reintroductions back to Panama in the future.
Animal Health Department (by David E. Kenny, Jeff Baier and Felicia Knightly)
We all watched with bated breath as West Nile virus progressed westward across the country, eventually arriving in Colorado at the end of the summer. We had one definite case at the zoo, involving an adult Chilean flamingo. Fortunately, it survived and there were no additional cases in 2002. Many other zoos around the country were not so fortunate and recorded multiple bird deaths in their collections. Parts of the Midwest have a sharp decline in many species of free-ranging birds as a result of the West Nile outbreak. We probably benefited by the virus arriving here late during a dry summer, and expect that we may see the full force of the virus in the summer of 2003. In addition to mosquito control, we plan to vaccinate all of our equids (as we did in the spring of 2002) and most of our outdoor bird collection, although the verdict is currently out on the efficacy of the licensed vaccine in avian species.
We are sad to report the loss of Buck the male black jaguar, Bosaga, a Przewalski's horse mare, and Sammy the male California sea lion. What was interesting from a medical perspective was that all three demonstrated a cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. In addition, there was a fourth case involving a Chilean flamingo chick that is still living and doing well. We have no explanation for this cluster of cases.
A very interesting case involved one of our large green moray eels (Gymnothorax funebris). Fish live in an environment that has minimal gravitational effects, allowing them to devote more tissue to muscle and less to a supportive skeleton. Most fishes maintain their position in the water column by using a swim bladder. Something went terribly wrong with our eel's buoyancy system and he continually floated to the surface. With the cooperation of the Tropical Discovery staff, Dr Jeff Baier was able to engineer an anesthesia system for the eel, and we successfully anesthetized him on three occasions for taking of blood samples and a surgical procedure. Unfortunately, we were unable to correct his condition and we humanely euthanized him.
We don't usually see the high incidence of cardiovascular disease found in humans in exotic species; however, Patrick, a male De Brazza's monkey, died from heart failure, though we had successfully managed him for several months with digoxin, an ACE inhibitor and a diuretic. Patrick originally came to us from Phoenix Zoo, Arizona, and had contracted valley fever, which is common in the Southwest, and this unfortunately also affected his heart.
Conservation and Research Projects (by Richard P. Reading and Brian J. Miller)
During 2002, the zoo was involved in 48 field conservation and research projects in 21 foreign countries and five U.S. states. We also supported six projects within the zoo. Our projects focus primarily on landscape conservation planning and focal species, a widely accepted means of conserving larger ecological systems. Examples of such landscape planning efforts include the Southern Rockies and the Northern and Southern Great Plains. As for focal species, we were involved with projects on wolves, jaguars, desert elephants, wild camels, prairie dogs, green macaws, Humboldt penguins, Komodo dragons, golden frogs, and more. Geographically, several focal regions are evident, including the western U.S.A., Mexico, Mongolia and north-central China, and southern Africa. The vast majority of our projects contribute to career development of young, local conservationists. A few highlights follow.
Dr Rich Reading and colleagues placed the world's first radio collar, monitored by satellites, on a wild Bactrian camel in Mongolia. Rich, along with senior zoo veterinarian Dr Dave Kenny and other colleagues, collared six argali sheep in 2003 to start an ecology project they began exploring several years ago. Dr Brian Miller continued advising a project he began on pumas and jaguars in the dry tropical forests of Jalisco, Mexico; this project has continued since 1995 and will be used by a Mexican graduate student for his Ph.D.
Zoo staff members were active in conservation projects in 2002. Rick Haeffner and Alex Saunders hosted an important meeting on Malagasy fish conservation to help outline future directions. Bryon Shipley continues his work on reptiles and amphibians associated with prairie dogs. Tom Weaver traveled to Panama to help a conservation and inventory project focused on golden frogs and other reptiles and amphibians. John Azúa helped with a project to resolve reproductive problems in great hornbills and Mary Jo Willis continued analyzing ecological data on Humboldt penguins. Gabe Kibe traveled to Namibia to assist on a desert elephant conservation project, and Chris Bobko continued her research into stress factors affecting captive black rhinoceros. Merle Moore, Director of Horticulture, continued working with nutritionist Dr Nancy Irlbeck on their study of browse fed to zoo animals, as well as their compilation of a browse database.
Denver Zoo continued or initiated financial support for additional field conservation projects in several countries, primarily conducted by our 17 unpaid Research Associates, who allow our involvement in programs at little cost but with great benefits to conservation. Significant endeavors in 2002 included work on sun bears in Indonesia, nutrition of zoo animals, argali sheep conservation in China, wild dog research in Botswana, revising environmental laws in Georgia and Armenia, bird distribution assessment in southern Africa, and jaguar conservation in Mexico.
WUPPERTAL ZOO, GERMANY
English summary of the Annual Report 2002
During 2002 the zoo was visited by 534,955 people. On 31 December 2002, 5,069 animals of 464 species were exhibited (2001: 4,636 animals of 466 species).
The most important arrivals were: 1.1 dusky leaf langurs, 1.0 black-footed cat, 3 little egrets, 1.1 harlequin ducks, 4.2 goosanders, 1.0 Argentinian ruddy duck, 1.0 white-naped crane, 0.2 victoria crowned pigeon, 1.0 kookaburra, 0.1 white-tailed trogon, 0.1 hooded pitta, 1.0 pompadour cotinga, 1.1 crimson fruit-crows, 1.1 bare-throated bellbirds, 1.1 Andean cocks-of-the rock, 4 long-tailed tits, 2.2 painted finches.
The following breeding results were most noteworthy: 1.1 red-necked wallabies, 3.5 short-eared elephant shrews, 2.2 golden-headed lion tamarins, 2.0 lion-tailed macaques, 2.0 golden-bellied mangabeys, 1.0 dusky leaf monkey, 4 Patagonian cavies, 1.1 Gordon's cats, 1.1 Temminck's cats, 0.1 Geoffroy's cat, 0.1 black panther, 1.0 California sea lion, 1.2 Grant's zebras, 3 collared peccaries, 0.1 dromedary, 1.2 southern pudus, 2.0 Thorold's deer, 0.1 yellow-backed duiker, 0.3 bongos, 1.2 eland, 0.1 Ankole cattle, 1.2 Siberian ibex, 24 elegant crested tinamous, 2 black-footed penguins, 1 bald ibis, 2 black-necked swans, 2 red-breasted geese, 1 nene, 15 blue-winged geese, 1.0 Madagascar teal, 8 common eider, 7 spectacled eider, 2 white-winged wood ducks, 40 common goldeneyes, 2 buffleheads, 0.1 oldsquaw, 7 hooded mergansers, 18 black-headed ruddy ducks, 4 African white-backed ducks, 0.1 black vulture, 1 seriema, 3 red-crowned cranes, 25 avocets, 3 lapwings, 2 araraunas, 1 red-cheeked macaw, 1 guira, 2 great grey owls, 1 tawny frogmouth, 2 kookaburras, 13 pale-legged horneros, 1 barn swallow, 1 vermilion flycatcher, 2 house wrens, 2.0 yellow-bellied sunbirds, 2 tree sparrows, 3 Rothschild's mynahs, 4 ravens, 12 green pythons.
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INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Auckland Zoo, New Zealand
In late March, 1.1 twins were born to the zoo's siamang pair, 24-year-old female Iuri and 19-year-old male Itam. This was a rare event – only 2% of recorded zoo siamang births worldwide have resulted in twins. The parents have successfully reared five previous offspring; but keepers think the stress of mothering twins was too much for Iuri, causing her to uncharacteristically injure and reject them at seven weeks old. Sadly, the female twin suffered severe injuries and, despite round-the-clock intensive care, her condition deteriorated and she had to be euthanased. The male, Iwani, however, recovered quickly from his leg bite and anaemia, and is now thriving in his own nursery where he has been receiving extra special care from keepers and veterinary staff.
Hand-rearing a baby gibbon is no easy option, particularly for keepers with already full schedules. The team has pulled out all the stops to give him the care and attention he needs, including frequent bottle-feeding with S26 Gold baby milk. Like any baby, he's reliant on being held and carried, which his parents would normally do, but contact levels need to be carefully considered to prevent him from imprinting too much on the humans around him. The team's mission is to reintegrate him with his family by the time he is one. To achieve this, he must be fully independent.
Iwani is making great progress. The process of weaning him off his bottle on to his natural diet of fruit, vegetables and browse is well under way and he's already very mobile; he can climb, hold things and bear his own weight. To encourage him to develop his range of movement, and to give him a sense of a primate rather than human environment, items like sticks and ropes are being substituted for human toys in his cage. Every opportunity is taken to reinforce his siamang identity. With senior primate keeper Christine Tintinger, he spends time with his brother Irian in an inside den each morning, which gives him some close physical contact with another siamang. He is also moved as close as possible to his parents when they start their characteristic and extremely loud daily `duet', so that he's as much a part of it as possible. Siamangs are the loudest of all the primates, and calling to each other helps maintain pair bonds, and advertises and defends territory.
In a few months' time the weaning process will be completed, and Iwani will be encouraged to develop his strength by climbing the mesh of the enclosure and swinging from ropes. At around six months, he will move into an enclosure-cage next door to his parents so he can have increased interaction with them, and at night he will be in a warm, secure den near them. There's still a lot of hard work to be done before Iwani is ready to fully rejoin his family, but Christine is optimistic. `All the signs are very encouraging. Even if his mother takes no further notice of him, I believe he will get the care and contact he needs from his father and brother.'
Zoo Alive (Spring 2003)
Basel Zoo, Switzerland
The zoo has adapted today's call for ecological and conservation-oriented exhibits to a very restricted space: a narrow, boomerang-shaped site measuring only 6,500 m2. We decided to build three large outdoor enclosures of about 1,000 m2 each, connecting two houses situated at the outer tips; one dedicated to an ecological topic, the other to conservation (opening in summer 2003).
The logical consequence was that we had to give up more than half of our large carnivore species, some of them very popular, such as the Siberian tigers and black panthers. We answered the public outcry of resentment at the loss of favourite species with the promise that the overall number of (smaller) species would increase (in fact from eight to 25!), that small species are generally more active and that active animals tell better `stories'. We were faced with some harsh criticism regarding the zoo's (imaginary) `clearance sale'. However, after the opening of the first house, the initial rejection soon gave way to enthusiasm and approval.
We decided to use the food chain as the ecological story, and the changing relationship between man and nature as the conservation story. African exhibits – including Masai giraffes, okapis, elephants and greater flamingos – surround the construction site, so an African setting was a simple choice. It took much more consideration to decide on an arid, savanna- or semi-desert-like environment in southern Africa: dry, hot and flat, with little natural shelter. As a place on which to hang the story, we gave it the name of Etosha, the largest national park in Namibia.
For the conservation story, the choice of animal species was pretty simple: African wild dog, cheetah, lion, Nile crocodile and termites (Macrotermis bellicosus) – the last as an example of sustainable use of natural resources by a multi-million-inhabitant city. The casting for the food chain exhibit was much more complex and covered about 20 species.
This kind of planning was a novelty for us. Previously, architects generally built a house with lots of similar enclosures; then the animal people filled them with a variety of species; and at the end the education department had to make up a story. This is definitely putting the cart before the horse. Doing it the right way is more difficult, takes longer, gives more room for possible errors and makes it harder for the architects, but it is very, very rewarding.
The first of the two buildings, the Etosha House, shows a very modern architecture with a concrete framework and lots of steel and glass. Nonetheless the aura is earthy, organic, and unobtrusive, due to walls made of natural tamped clay and a roof covered with a flowery meadow and bushes. The first room, the entrance hall, symbolizes the origin of plant and consequently of animal life: sunlight, clay and a thin layer of water running down a rocky wall covered with tiny patches of algae and moss.
The second room is a sunbathed glasshouse without any animals, `only' plants. The message is threefold: plants, and only plants, can transform solar energy into organic energy. Plants are the only `producers'; all the other higher organisms are `consumers'. Further, during the day plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen as a by-product, thereby producing the air we breathe. And finally, all the plants in this glasshouse show a wide variety of adaptations to their arid environment, such as special organs for storing water, leaves being dropped during dry seasons to minimize evaporation, and tap roots digging deep into the soil in search of water.
When you step into the main building, you step into the world of animals and consumption. The first animals you encounter are a swarm of 2,500 migratory locusts, who stand not for the horror of their renowned mass migration, but rather for the important role they play in the food chain – turning hard-to-digest plant food into easy-to-digest animal proteins. Visitors can view the seven different stages of locust development, from egg to reproducing, winged adult, in four small containers. A constant population of 12,000 locusts is maintained to display the 2,500 individuals in the exhibit and provide an output of an additional 3,500 locusts per week which are fed to other animals. A colony of grey mole rats (Cryptomys anselli) show that plants are not only under attack from above – the enemy is also chewing its way through the earth in search of roots and tubers.
The next two species show how much food preferences influence different ways of life. Striped grass mice (Lemniscomys barbarus) eat seeds and other readily available plant matter. They can `afford' to live in tolerant families without any competition over food. They produce large numbers of offspring that remain in the colony, and they do not defend territories. Elephant shrews are just the opposite: they look like mice, but they eat insects. As these are scarce in this dry environment, elephant shrews defend a territory of up to one square kilometre. They are strictly monogamous and give birth only once or twice a year to a single or twin offspring. The young have to leave before they reach sexual maturity at the age of five to six weeks.
A puff adder (Bitis arietans) and an orb web spider (Nephila sp.), in a mixed exhibit with pygmy mice (Mus minutoides) in the upper canopy, show how ingenious predators can be at catching and killing their prey. On the other hand porcupines, leopard tortoises, sociable weavers and rock hyraxes demonstrate that prey species are not defenceless. Honey bees and carmine bee eaters tell another story of an evolutionary arms race: the elaborate poisonous sting of the bees against the flying acrobats who catch them in the air and beat them with their beaks against a twig until both sting and poison are discharged.
Predator and prey species were supposed to live together in harmony in the largest enclosure. Ground squirrels (Xerus inauris), rock hyraxes, red-billed hornbills and the carnivorous meerkats all have a common enemy, the fast birds of prey. Everybody profits from the other species' vigilance and the `prey' doesn't fit the `prey profile' of the predator. The problem here was the offspring of the herbivores. The little ones do fit the profile and, consequently, the meerkats had to be separated whenever babies were around. We may switch to the smaller dwarf mongooses in the future. Currently we are trying to transfer our thriving colony of sociable weavers with two rapidly growing nest complexes from a closed enclosure into this open, multispecies main enclosure.
Presenting decomposing organisms is probably the greatest challenge because of their usually small size and hidden lifestyle. We decided against the use of microscopes or binoculars, thus putting certain limits on our choice of species. At the moment we are displaying rotten wood, incubated with edible fungi like oyster or shitake mushrooms. Unfortunately another inhabitant, the giant African land snails, declared these mushrooms their preferred diet, which leads to a certain competition. Fortunately mushrooms grow very fast. A variety of rose beetles (Eudicella sp.) represent decomposing insects, and some beetle species are even reproducing in their display container.
Some Etosha House enclosures are still in an experimental phase after two years of operation, while others ran smoothly from the beginning. A house of this complexity, with over 25 species and many mixed exhibits, is much like a living organism, constantly adapting to life's pressures. Fortunately the public's acceptance of this highly didactic exhibit has been enormous. Visitors were seriously complaining when we tore down the old carnivore house, as we had nothing to show in which direction we planned to go; but now that they can see that the new exhibits are more suitable for the animals, there are few complaints.
The Gamgoas House, opening on 13 June 2003, is dedicated to conservation and is linked with an in situ project we are supporting for Kalahari lions. The building will provide a direct view of the lion enclosure and will house a very large Nile crocodile enclosure (topics: CITES, farming, ranching, sustainable use) and a termite mound (topic: five-million-inhabitant sustainable eco-city). Core of the house is a conservation exhibition of more than 350 m2 with topics including habitat loss, poaching, overhunting, tourism, management of wildlife, imported diseases, and the situation of the indigenous human population (the bushmen). This is also linked with in situ conservation since we support a project to help the San people find a new existence without alcohol, high suicide rates and violence.
Abridged from Gerry Guldenschuh in EAZA News No. 42 (April–June 2003)
Bronx Zoo, New York, U.S.A.
We welcomed our second, third and fourth lesser adjutant stork (Leptoptilos javanicus) chicks in early April. The zoo is the only institution in North America currently holding this species, and members of the Bird Department hope to develop a breeding and management program for these rare animals. Staff have partially hand-raised the chicks and prepare special diets to ensure their health. Both parents have been adequately feeding and instinctively protecting their new young as well. The zoo's storks are considered part of a research population to help determine how best to breed this species in captivity and eventually increase their numbers in their native habitats in China, India, Indonesia and other regions of Southeast Asia.
Communiqué (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), September 2003
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado, U.S.A.
The zoo is proud to announce the debut of a mountain tapir (Tapirus pinchaque) calf, born on 29 May 2003; the male infant was put on exhibit on 1 July. Zoo staff noticed the baby did not feed immediately after birth, so the mother was milked and the infant bottle-fed for the first few days. The young tapir is now healthy and active, and the zoo is proud to be the home of the eighth mountain tapir living in captivity in the world. Both sire and dam were born at Los Angeles Zoo; the mother was sent to Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in 1995 and the father in 2000. [For more on Los Angeles Zoo's work with mountain tapirs, see IZN 49 (2), pp. 112–3 – Ed.]
Mountain tapirs are extremely rare and endangered in the wild, where they inhabit the high northern Andes, in the paramos and cloud forests of Peru, Ecuador and Colombia. They are already extinct in parts of their former range, mainly due to agricultural encroachment, poaching and habitat destruction. Intense efforts are being made to save this species, vital to the well-being of the Andean ecosystem.
Communiqué (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), August 2003
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Ohio, U.S.A.
On 8 June the zoo welcomed a cheetah cub born to mother Cinnabar, who was artificially inseminated on 5 March using a new laparoscopic intra-uterine procedure. This is a great accomplishment and a giant step in increasing the number of cheetahs worldwide. To date, there have been ten pregnancies using this new technique, including three achieved with frozen sperm. The pregnancy rate is 50 percent using this procedure in cheetahs. Cheetah litters in the wild average one to seven cubs, while litters produced by AI average about two cubs. Single cub litters generally require hand-raising, as the mother ceases to produce milk after two or three weeks due to lack of sufficient suckling stimulation. However, the zoo's new cub is over 30% larger than the average of other cubs born here, and staff are hopeful that he can remain with his mother for a normal weaning period and beyond.
Historically, breeding cheetahs in captivity has been difficult. Of the 300 adult cheetahs in North America, only 19% of the males and 28% of the females have successfully reproduced. The last cheetah birth at Columbus Zoo was in 1989.
Communiqué (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), September 2003
Fort Worth Zoo, Texas, U.S.A.
Sixteen endangered Asian brown mountain tortoises (Manouria emys) hatched at the zoo during the second week of September. This species, the largest Asian tortoise, is native to India, Malaysia, Sumatra and Borneo; it is prized as a delicacy and used for medicinal purposes. In 2001, the hatchlings' parents, along with thousands of other turtles and tortoises, were destined for China's illegal food trade when they were confiscated by Hong Kong customs. Following identification and initial triage, the animals were then shipped to Miami, Florida, where a multidisciplinary team, spearheaded by Rick Hudson (Fort Worth Zoo Conservation Biologist), co‑chair of the Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA), placed them in appropriate homes throughout the U.S.A., forming `assurance colonies' to maintain the species for their eventual recovery.
Fort Worth Zoo adopted six brown mountain tortoises and placed them in intensive care for three months. Once the tortoises were healthy and strong, they were placed on exhibit and eventually began breeding. About 40 eggs were laid in July, making Fort Worth the first institution to successfully breed from the rescued mountain brown tortoises.
The TSA, under the auspices of IUCN, was organized in 2000 at Fort Worth Zoo in response to the ongoing Asian turtle crisis, widely recognized as one of the most significant wildlife tragedies of modern times. The mission of the TSA is to develop and maintain a global network of living tortoises and freshwater turtles, with the primary goal of maintaining these species over the long term to provide maximum future options for the recovery of wild populations.
Abridged and adapted from Tracy Sturrock, Communications Coordinator
Kuranda Koala Gardens, Queensland, Australia
The gardens have been open for just over a year. We have three (1.2) common wombats; Digger, the male, arrived a few months after Sandy and Jemima. His arrival seemed to calm the females' aggressive behaviour towards each other.
The wombat enclosure is a grassy area measuring approximately 10 m by 15 m. A moat at the front allows safe, unobstructed viewing by the public, and three large resting logs decorate the enclosure. A night pen, with a substrate entirely of river sand, is attached to the enclosure, catering for the animals' natural instinct to dig. Once in the night pen, they are off-display.
Jemima and Digger seem quite compatible, but Sandy is less accommodating, attacking the male if he ventures close to her. Keepers have witnessed courtship behaviour and copulation between Jemima and Digger, but as yet no pouch young has resulted.
Recently the wombats have been observed displaying signs of boredom – pacing the perimeter of the enclosure, digging at the grass and pawing at the fences and gates. It was decided, therefore, that a formal breeding and behavioural enrichment program should be formulated. Some consultation with staff at Western Plains Zoo helped to get us on our way. As Digger and Jemima are compatible, it was decided that Sandy would be removed to an off-exhibit area until further notice, while Digger and Jemima would remain together, undisturbed, for around four to six months. A behavioural enrichment schedule was then begun.
Some modification to the main exhibit was undertaken, with two square metres of coarse river sand placed in the moat at the front so the wombats could dig without being let into the night pen. Any burrows created can be filled in after a while to give them something to do.
A range of behavioural enrichment activities were then identified for both wombat enclosures. These include:
– Provision of old koala browse/eucalyptus leaf on the branch every second day;
– Twice to three times per week, freshly dug and washed wild guinea grass to be placed around the enclosures for the wombats to eat;
– Some charcoal to be provided once a week for the wombats to chew (depending on how they like it);
– The placement of food bowls to be varied around the enclosures to encourage the wombats to search;
– A handful of lucerne to be scattered regularly around near the logs;
– A big, stringy log for chewing to be provided and replaced once the bark is completely stripped.
All our efforts are being recorded, along with any observations of the wombats' behaviour such as courtship displays, matings, pacing, chewing, digging etc. The enrichment regime has only just begun, but at least no evidence of pacing has been observed since it started. The 1.5-metre-long stringy bark chewing logs have been well and truly chewed. Also, several raw coconuts have proven quite popular. And Digger and Jemima have created their own small quarry, managing to move almost half of the sand around one side of the enclosure.
It's quite cool in Kuranda at the moment, so Digger does not seem to be feeling very amorous. Once the weather warms up, we expect to see lots of courtship behaviour and, we hope, a baby wombat shortly after!
Tracey Hayes in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 59 (August 2003)
Living Coasts, Torquay, U.K.
Living Coasts, which opened to the public in July 2003, is a world-class coastal habitats attraction located on a prime waterfront site in Torquay, South Devon. It features wading birds, terns, sea ducks, auks, penguins, fur seals and black rats in reconstructed habitats including beaches, cliff-faces and an estuary. A huge meshed aviary allows birds to fly free over the heads of visitors. Acrylic viewing panels and tunnels give crystal-clear views of species displaying natural underwater behaviours.
The new facility is a sister attraction to Paignton Zoo, both being parts of the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust. `Living Coasts is about life on the edge,' says the zoo's executive director, Simon Tonge. `It's about that fragile margin where land meets sea and how the animals that live there – including us – survive. Visitors will be able to investigate the lives of these animals through interpretation that will include hands-on and audio-visual activities. It will carry a strong conservation and education message.'
The £7 million project, part-funded by the South West Regional Development Agency and the European Regional Development Fund, has created about 50 new jobs and helped to regenerate a shabby and run-down area of the town. The lower part of the Living Coasts complex cleverly incorporates the beautiful stone arches of a Victorian public swimming bath which closed in 1869.
Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
Every year in July the short-tailed parrots (Graydidascalus brachyurus) start breeding. This time, to guarantee success, the clutch was removed from the nest of the breeding pair and placed in the nest of an experienced pair of red-shouldered macaws (Ara nobilis), who are currently raising the three chicks in question. Our second pair has also produced young; however, this chick will remain with them to test their parental preparedness.
Two young blue-naped parrots (Tanygnathus lucionensis) who were hatched by their parents have already fledged. Within the same genus, the great-billed parrots (T. megalorhynchus) and the Müller's parrots (T. sumatranus) are also raising young at the time of writing.
The two hand-reared Philippine cockatoo chicks mentioned in our last report are doing extremely well, and have been joined by a third. The hatching of these three chicks is of vital importance for the captive population of this endangered species, as so far they represent the only reproductive success within the breeding programme maintained by a number of zoos.
Another species which is being looked after at our baby station is a slender-billed parrot (Enicognathus leptorhynchus). For several years, the group formed by five individuals did not produce any young, until two birds were exchanged in the spring of this year.
This has been a very successful year for our caiques. Each of the three taxa housed at Loro Parque – black-headed (Pionites melanocephala), white-bellied (P. l. leucogaster) and yellow-thighed (P. l. xanthomeria) – has produced several young.
Our greater vasa parrots (Coracopsis vasa) have successfully raised offspring, as they do every year. Three young were hand-reared and two were raised by their parents, so the large breeding aviary is currently accommodating five youngsters of this species.
Abridged from the report for August compiled by Matthias Reinschmidt, Curator, Loro Parque
Marwell Zoo, U.K.
Perhaps the most challenging veterinary case at Marwell recently came when one of the red-crowned cranes managed to break her upper beak. At first glance it appeared a relatively simple fracture; the beak wasn't completely shattered and the fractured bones were still well aligned. However, an X-ray showed just how complicated the situation really was. The beak had broken at a weak point where the nares (nostrils) open. In addition the air sacs extend further down the beak, so that the whole structure is extremely delicate, flimsy and air-filled. This meant that simple methods of stabilising fractures, such as casting, were ruled out as we couldn't block her nares. We also couldn't use many implants as the bones are so thin and fragile. And to make matters worse, cranes are utterly reliant on having an intact beak to feed properly, so, whatever method we chose, the beak had to be fully functional immediately; she certainly wouldn't have tolerated regular force-feeding over a long period of time while the beak healed.
We therefore adapted a method used for repairing growth defects in macaw beaks. The first thing we did was to insert a thick metal pin through the frontal bone and sinus. This is a tough area at the base of the beak (worryingly close to the eye and brain), and this pin is used to stabilise the whole repair. A much thinner pin was then inserted through the solid bone and keratin at the tip of the beak. This was then bent and fixed to the first pin using epoxy resin. The result was a lightweight frame that stabilised the whole upper beak. The fracture site could then be aligned more exactly by placing a wire suture around the uppermost segment and placing some epoxy resin over this. She has tolerated this extremely well and started feeding within a few days. We removed the wire suture after a few weeks and the fracture is repairing well. The frame is still in place, but we plan to remove this soon.
John Chitty in Marwell Zoo News No. 116 (Summer 2003)
Monterey Bay Aquarium, California, U.S.A.
Three western snowy plover (Charadrius alexandrinus nivosus) chicks recently hatched at the aquarium, much to the surprise of aviculturists who had little hope that the eggs of the threatened shorebirds would survive, given their tumultuous history. A core group of volunteers at Half Moon Bay State Park first spotted the nest on 4 April, set up a protective barrier and monitored it daily through 13 April, when a high tide washed the nest away and the parents abandoned the site. A Half Moon Bay park ranger – on advice from the aquarium staff – heated an athletic sock full of uncooked rice in a microwave oven, then placed the rescued eggs on the `sock nest' in a box filled with sand and drove two hours to bring them to Monterey. Aquarium staff immediately placed the eggs in an incubator off-exhibit. On 1 May, aviculturists heard peeping from two of the eggs, one of which hatched later that day. The second and third hatched on 2 and 3 May. Aquarium staff released the young chicks into the wild in mid-June, bringing the number of snowy plovers hatched, raised and released by the aquarium to 16 in the last four years. Nine of the birds released have been raised with the help of the aquarium's resident male snowy plover. Most of the released plovers have been observed in the wild with flocks and appear to be doing well. In the wild, western snowy plovers are a federally threatened species, largely because of destruction of their beach and dunes habitat for development and recreation. These fist-sized birds usually lay eggs on the sand where nests are at risk not only from wild predators but also from people sunbathing, walking their dogs, or riding horses on the beach.
Communiqué (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), August 2003
Newquay Zoo, U.K.
In August, a new chapter in the zoo's history began when the Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust, through its subsidiary charity, Paignton Zoo, purchased Newquay Zoo from its owner/director Mike Thomas and his partners. The trustees of the WWCT felt that Newquay, on account of its high-profile education work, would add a significant new asset to the Trust's `portfolio' of zoos and nature reserves, which includes – as well as Paignton Zoo – the new Living Coasts complex in Torquay [see above, p. 443], Slapton Ley National Nature Reserve and two urban nature reserves in Paignton. The fact that Newquay Zoo is also a very viable and thriving business was also a major factor in their decision.
Simon Tonge will be executive director of Newquay as well as Paignton Zoo, and Stuart Muir will be assistant director at Newquay and the senior member of staff on site. Stuart is the co-founder and director of Shaldon Wildlife Trust; he will not lose his contact with Shaldon, but has appointed a director, Tracey Moore, to run the site in his absence.
Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, Oregon, U.S.A.
Our aviculturists' consistently high quality of seabird husbandry has proved beneficial for the pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba) colony as they welcomed eight new chicks in late July. In the wild, these chicks fledge at about five weeks, but usually leave the nest one-by-one at night, and walk or flutter to the sea. To better replicate their natural instincts, the hatchlings will join the colony in the Aquarium's outdoor seabird aviary in early September, at which point visitors will be able to catch a glimpse of them.
According to Karen Anderson, Curator of Birds, the species tends to be delicate, and is often hard to breed in a mixed-species exhibit. To facilitate the laying of fertilized eggs, Aquarium aviculturists made sure the pigeon guillemots had access to safe nests which the tufted puffins couldn't access, as the puffins often raid nests and break eggs. All eggs from our six mating pairs were pulled and placed in an incubator until hatching. In order to create a stable environment, the aviculturists are hand-rearing all eight chicks. Anderson notes, `Nervous by nature, pigeon guillemots are better adjusted and remain healthier when hand-reared.' All eight chicks are valuable to the captive population management of this species, as there are a relatively small number of them in captivity.
Wild pigeon guillemot colonies are vulnerable to population declines as a result of human activities such as over-fishing and oil spills that can cause fluctuations in food supplies or directly impact the colonies' physical well-being. Numbers have yet to recover after the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989. Like other alcids, pigeon guillemots reproduce slowly, laying only one or two eggs once a year, and usually don't replace lost eggs from a first clutch.
Communiqué (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), September 2003
Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A.
Five red wolf pups are a testament to a new technique that could drastically improve breeding of an endangered species. Point Defiance is proud to be the first institution to use non-invasive hormonal monitoring to establish the ideal time to artificially inseminate female wolves. Fecal samples, tested by Toronto Zoo, were used to monitor hormone levels in order to determine when the wolves ovulate. Four females were selected for monitoring and insemination. Red wolves only ovulate once a year for a few days between mid-February and mid-March. Until now, researchers had to catch the wolves daily and draw blood to measure hormonal activity and determine when to inseminate. The fecal method is much less stressful for the animal. This is the first time fecal hormone analysis alone has been used to time AI in any species.
Communiqué (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), September 2003
Sea World, San Diego, California, U.S.A.
For the first time in the park's 39-year history, we have successfully incubated and hatched sea turtles, something only two other aquariums are known to have done. Assistant Curator of Fishes Carl Jantsch notes that the attempt at reproduction was successful because aquarists simulated the natural breeding environment found in the wild.
On 1 April, it was noticed that one of the female green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) in the Sea Turtle Beach display had dug a pit and deposited her eggs. Staff collected 105 eggs from the nest and incubated them behind the scenes in coral sand over a water bath at the park's freshwater aquarium. Between 4 and 10 June, the turtles began to hatch and surface. In the wild, newly hatched sea turtles head directly for the ocean. At Sea World, aquarists took the 21 surviving hatchlings from the nest, put them in water and began feeding them a diet of squid, krill, shrimp, fish and a special `turtle chow'. After monitoring the turtles' progress for several weeks, aquarists deemed them healthy and put them on display in late June.
Communiqué (American Zoo and Aquarium Association), September 2003
Sea World, Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia
Shark Bay, one of the largest man-made lagoon systems for sharks, will open at Sea World at Christmas 2003. The complex will consist of touch tanks, a tidal pool, a large reef pool and a large shark pool holding six million litres of water. As guests enter Shark Bay they will be given the opportunity to interact with some of the inhabitants of one of the specially designed touch pools. They will not only look, learn and listen, but will also get to touch the tidal pool creatures.
The water from the touch pools will overflow into a tidal pool, home to our smaller rays, then surge over into the large Snorkel Lagoon – the reef tank. This will be a themed environment, housing smaller shark species such as leopard sharks, blacktip reef sharks, nervous sharks, sandbar whalers and epaulette sharks, together with shovelnose rays, cowtail rays, and a large variety of colourful reef fish and invertebrates. In this large reef environment, guests will be able to dive and snorkel amongst the sharks as part of a new set of animal adventure programs. They will also be able to watch the animals from above water level, providing a visual opportunity similar to the view from the deck of a boat.
The largest lagoon will house the larger and more dangerous species, including magnificent tiger sharks and spectacular bull whaler and dusky whaler sharks. This lagoon will provide the animals with the space to complete a 60-metre-long swim-glide pattern without the fear of bumping into objects or other animals. This distance is essential for larger sharks, which use the glide movement to rest.
The two large pools, Shark Lagoon and Snorkel Lagoon, will appear as one large pool from above. In reality, below the bridge will be two large acrylic panels that separate the large sharks from the smaller reef species. This will give the participants in the new Snorkel with the Sharks program the feeling that they are in the same tank as the larger sharks. Snorkellers and divers will also have the opportunity to learn about these animals through an innovative underwater education signage trail that they can follow while swimming around the pool.
When guests visit the underwater viewing areas of Shark Bay, their first visual encounter will be through four 10 metre by 3 metre acrylic panels. These panels are 180 mm thick and weigh over 6.5 tonnes. Television monitors will show footage on conservation issues, management and general information on the animals displayed in Shark Bay.
The filtration system will combine multiple filtration techniques, as used in other Sea World exhibits – mechanical, biological, chemical, ozone and UV technology. The filtration system will turn over the entire water volume of Shark Bay every 90 minutes – a rate of about 1,000 litres every second.
Miranda Creak in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 59 (August 2003)
Taronga Zoo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
The zoo's Marine Mammal Research Centre is currently undertaking research into the acoustic behaviour of Australian fur seals. The project's investigators, Joy Tripovich, Dr Tracey Rogers and Dr Rhonda Canfield, are examining the vocal repertoire and recognition systems in both male and female seals, focusing on the male intersexual recognition systems. They have recorded calls from wild seals at Kanowna Island, Victoria, and these calls will be analysed to determine whether individual recognition exists in this species. They will also be trialling a new technique with the captive fur seals at Taronga to determine if vocal recognition exists in this species. During the trials the animals are `asked' to make a choice and tell the researchers whether they can actually discriminate individuals based on vocalisations alone.
Carolyn Hogg in ARAZPA Newsletter No. 59 (August 2003)
Western Plains Zoo, Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
After a number of years of preparation, the second regional joint import of white rhinoceros occurred on 20 September 2002, with 3.4 animals arriving in Adelaide from Kruger National Park, South Africa. All seven underwent post-arrival quarantine at Monarto Zoo, after which one pair stayed there while 2.3 were transferred in February to Western Plains in refrigerated trucks (to keep the animals cool during exceptionally high summer temperatures). Before their arrival, extensive works had been completed in off-exhibit breeding and holding facilities.
Wild-caught female Umqali gave birth to a healthy female calf in late March, and subsequently staff have worked to introduce the females and maintain them in one herd. This included the successful introduction of female Alex, a 22-year-old rhino already resident at the zoo. The female herd are now on exhibit, and male Thomas – 35 years old, and a long-term Western Plains Zoo resident – has been given access to this group. The three bulls will be kept off-exhibit, with access to the cows being given at strategic intervals (Thomas is on first rotation!).
In late 2002 the zoo received two brother African wild dogs from amongst a number recently imported from South Africa by Monarto Zoo. The two males were integrated with a female recommended for breeding at Western Plains, in our off-exhibit breeding yards. (Our main exhibit group are siblings born here in 1999.) Staff reported the birth of a number of pups in June 2003, and their first forays outside the pupping den took place in July. At present we believe there are three pups, who are as yet unsexed, awaiting their first vaccinations by veterinary staff in August. This is a significant birth for the regional program, given the genetic importance of the imported animals.
ARAZPA Newsletter No. 59 (August 2003)
News in brief
Melbourne Zoo, Victoria, Australia, is celebrating the world-first hatching of the world's rarest insect, the Lord Howe Island stick insect (Dryococelus australis). A pair of the 12-centimetre-long insects, whose impressive size and odd appearance once earned them the common name of `land lobster', arrived at the zoo in February [see IZN 50 (5), p. 310]. The female began to lay eggs almost immediately, and the first hatching took place on 7 September.
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A female aye-aye was born on 9 July at Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, Japan. At first she was fed by the keeper, but later she was given back to her mother to rear.
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At Zürich Zoo, Switzerland, eight Galapagos tortoise hatchlings emerged between 4 and 22 May from a clutch of ten eggs laid on 29 December 2002. They bring to 48 the number bred at the zoo since 1989. All offspring to date have been produced by the same pair.
Robert Zingg in EAZA News No. 43 (July–September 2003)
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Ademmer, C.: Nahrungswahl bei Kleideraffen: vergleichende Beobachtungen im Endangered Primate Rescue Center (Cuc Phuong Nationalpark, Vietnam) und im Kölner Zoo. (Food preferences in douc langurs: comparative observations at the EPRC and Cologne Zoo.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 46, No. 3 (2003), pp. 105–116. [German, with English summary. Douc langurs (Pygathrix spp.) are specialised folivores, who show a great selectivity in leaf intake. Little is known about food plants in their natural habitat, and nothing is known about plant composition. Moreover, the dietary requirements of this endangered primate species are still unknown. One aim of this study was to assess these requirements by observing and measuring food selection. This was done under different housing conditions. Two studies of doucs' feeding ecology were carried out. In the first, the zoo animals' food provision and intake were measured quantitatively and the nutrient and energy concentrations of the consumed diets were calculated. The results suggested that leaf quality did not correspond exactly to the needs of the animals. The present study went one step further: the food intake of douc langurs was analysed under semi-free conditions at the EPRC in Vietnam. Here, animals are kept under two conditions: first, in large outdoor enclosures, and second, under semi-free conditions in an area of primary forest. Both keeping conditions were included in the study. Food intake behaviour was observed and food intake was measured quantitatively. Ninety-two food plants of 39 families were identified. A preference for young leaves was found for most of them. Other plant parts eaten were leaf stems and flowers. The amount of leaves offered was higher in the EPRC than at Cologne Zoo, regarding both quantity and species diversity. Chemical analyses of important food plants fed at both the EPRC and the zoo are planned, in which the content of fibre, protein, fat, selected minerals and energy will be measured.]
Bailey, T., and Hallager, S.: Management of bustards in captivity. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 1–8.
Baker, W.K.: Are there any specific recommendations on capture techniques for smaller mammals? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 190–191.
Baker, W.K.: Can aquariums have crisis events? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 8 (2003), pp. 326–327.
Baker, W.K.: Do you have any suggestions for stress management in the workplace? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 6 (2003), pp. 234–235.
Baker, W.K.: Recommendations for maintaining a safe work environment when working in direct proximity to large hoofstock. Part 2. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003), pp. 153–154.
Baker, W.K.: Specific suggestions for an emergency tool kit. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 7 (2003), pp. 274–275.
Barber, J.: Motivation, contrafreeloading and animal welfare: discussion points around diet presentation. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 8 (2003), pp. 344–347.
Beardsley, V.: Providing a means for chimps to pass to keepers `foreign' objects found in their exhibit. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 8 (2003), pp. 333–339. [Dallas Zoo, Texas, U.S.A.; the animals have been trained to use a four-inch (10-cm) PVC chute to pass objects (such as cans, bottles etc.) out of the enclosure.]
Bloomsmith, M.A., Jones, M.L., Snyder, R.J., Singer, R.A., Gardner, W.A., Liu, S.C., and Maple, T.L.: Positive reinforcement training to elicit voluntary movement of two giant pandas throughout their enclosure. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 323–334. [The purpose of this study was to test the usefulness of positive reinforcement training in managing the `shifting' behaviour of two young giant pandas at Zoo Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A. The authors describe the steps in the training process, the amount of personnel time required, compliance by the pandas and a brief analysis of contextual factors affecting their performance. Positive reinforcement training techniques successfully increased the pandas' level of compliance during times of day when they were not routinely asked to move through doorways. During the last 15 training sessions in the seven months that were evaluated for this study, the compliance of each of the two pandas was 87% during routine times and 89% during non-routine times. Each panda was typically trained during three or four sessions per week, and the mean session duration was 12 minutes; trainers spent a mean of 46 minutes per panda per week on training this behaviour. An analysis of the effects of context (on-going activities at the time a command to shift was given) indicated that most of the time (66%), even when there was a potentially distracting activity taking place, the pandas still responded to the first or second command given. As a wider range of animal species is being trained in zoo settings, unique challenges need to be considered when designing training programmes for each of them.]
Boydston, E.E., Kapheim, K.M., Watts, H.E., Szykman, M., and Holekamp, K.E.: Altered behaviour in spotted hyenas associated with increased human activity. Animal Conservation Vol. 6, No. 3 (2003), pp. 207–219. [To investigate how anthropogenic activity might affect large carnivores, the authors studied the behaviour of spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) during two time periods. From 1996 to 1998, they documented the ecological correlates of space utilization patterns exhibited by adult female hyenas defending a territory at the edge of a wildlife reserve in Kenya. Hyenas preferred areas near dense vegetation but appeared to avoid areas containing the greatest abundance of prey, perhaps because these were also the areas of most intensive livestock grazing. They then compared hyena behaviour observed in 1996–98 with that observed several years earlier and found many differences. Female hyenas in 1996–98 were found farther from dens, but closer to dense vegetation and to the edges of their territory, than in 1988–90. Recent females also had larger home ranges, travelled farther between consecutive sightings, and were more nocturnal than in 1988–90. Finally, hyenas occurred in smaller groups in 1996–98 than in 1988–90. The authors next attempted to explain the differences by testing predictions of hypotheses invoking prey abundance, climate, interactions with lions, tourism and livestock grazing. Their data were consistent with the hypothesis that increased reliance on the reserve for livestock grazing was responsible for observed changes. That behavioural changes were not associated with decreased hyena population density suggests that the behavioural plasticity typical of this species may protect it from extinction.]
Brock, D.: An update on Little Rock Zoo's multi-male gorilla group: ten years and counting. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 209–211.
Carpenter, M.: Increasing activity levels in captive elephants: `spread' (is) the word. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 8 (2003), pp. 328–330. [Environmental enrichment , Oakland Zoo, California, U.S.A.]
Conklin, D., Elkins, B., and Shelton, K.: Algae control in aquariums: methods, mechanisms and madness. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 7 (2003), pp. 276–277.
Conklin, D., Elkins, B., and Shelton, K.: Effects of temperature on aquatic systems. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 8 (2003), pp. 331–332.
Conradie, C.: 10 years: AfriCat's work with cheetahs and leopards. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 137–149. [AfriCat, a non-profit organisation in Namibia, has been in operation since 1991. Its main objective is to promote the tolerance of large carnivores, particularly cheetahs and leopards, on Namibian farmland and attempt to alleviate the conflict between livestock producers, game farmers and these predators. The immediate benefit of AfriCat's offering to remove cheetahs and leopards from traps is that it prevents these animals from being shot, as this service offers farmers an alternative to destroying these perceived problem animals. An additional benefit is that this contact with farmers enables AfriCat to promote ecologically sound farm management practices, and greatly enhances farmers' goodwill towards predator conservation. As many cats as possible are returned to the wild; only those that are unable to be released remain at AfriCat, including animals which have become habituated to people or completely tame, and those that have suffered injuries too extensive for them to survive in the wild. A 10,000-acre [4,000-ha] rehabilitation camp provides cheetahs due for release with the opportunity to hone their hunting skills and become self-sustaining; once they have proved that they can cope on their own, they can be relocated to a private game reserve, where their progress will continue to be monitored.]
Cunningham, A.A., Prakash, V., Pain, D., Ghalsasi, G.R., Wells, G.A.H., Kolte, G.N., Nighot, P., Goudar, M.S., Kshirsagar, S., and Rahmani, A.: Indian vultures: victims of an infectious disease epidemic? Animal Conservation Vol. 6, No. 3 (2003), pp. 189–197. [During the 1990s, populations of two species of griffon vulture, the Indian white-backed (Gyps bengalensis) and the long-billed (G. indicus), declined by more than 90% throughout India. These declines are continuing and are due to abnormally high rates of both nesting failure and adult, juvenile and nestling mortality. Affected birds exhibit signs of illness (neck drooping syndrome) for approximately 30 days prior to death. Epidemiological observations are most consistent with an infectious cause of this morbidity and mortality. To investigate the cause of these declines, 28 vulture carcases, including adults and juveniles of both species, were examined in detail. Significant post-mortem findings included visceral gout, enteritis, vasculitis and gliosis. The authors have so far been unable to identify the causative agent, but the results of their pathological studies are most consistent with those for an infectious disease, probably of viral origin.]
Czekala, N., McGeehan, L., Steinman, K., Li, X., and Gual-Sil, F.: Endocrine monitoring and its application to the management of the giant panda. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 389–400. [Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, San Diego, Chengdu Giant Panda Breeding Center, China, and Chapultepec Park Zoo, Mexico City.]
Deka, R.J., Sarma, N.K., and Baruah, K.K.: Nutritional evaluation of the principal forages/feed consumed by Indian rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis) in Pobitora Wildlife Sanctuary and Assam State Zoo-cum-Botanical Garden, Assam. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 18, No. 3 (2003), pp. 1043–1045.
Demark, K.: Enrichment of African black-footed penguins at the New Jersey State Aquarium. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 6 (2003), pp. 253–255.
Dhoot, V.M., Upadhye, S.V., Zinjarde, R.M., and Pande, M.R.: Handrearing of jackal (Canis aureus) at Maharajbag Zoo, Nagpur. Zoos' Print Vol. 18, No. 1 (2003), pp. 995–996.
Dudek, M.: Warum sich der Wolf (Canis lupus Linnaeus, 1758) in Eurasien entwickelt hat und nicht in Afrika. (Why did the wolf evolve in Eurasia and not in Africa?) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 46, No. 3 (2003), pp. 119–128. [German, with brief English summary. The author suggests that the evolution of the wolf can only be understood in the context of its ecological interrelation with two other species, man and raven.]
Durrant, B.S., Olson, M.A., Amodeo, D., Anderson, A., Russ, K.D., Campos-Morales, R.,, Gual-Sill, F., and Garza, J.R.: Vaginal cytology and vulvar swelling as indicators of impending estrus and ovulation in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 313–321. [Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species, San Diego, and Chapultepec Park Zoo, Mexico City.]
Ellis, M.: The purple-throated fruitcrow Querula purpurata. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 2 (2003), pp. 78–79.
Flamand, J.R.B., Vankan, D., Gairhe, K.P., Duong, H., and Barker, J.S.F.: Genetic identification of wild Asian water buffalo in Nepal. Animal Conservation Vol. 6, No. 3 (2003), pp. 265–270. [The wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) is highly endangered, with the few remaining populations already affected or likely to be increasingly affected by hybridization with domestic buffalo (B. bubalis). The authors describe the evaluation of a genetic method to discriminate wild from mixed ancestry (hybrid) and domestic animals, and to identify with high probability those most likely to be pure-bred wild. Samples from 45 animals (phenotypically classified into three groups – ten wild, 28 domestic and seven hybrid) were genotyped for ten microsatellite loci. Although genetic distances among the three groups were small, an assignment test identified two of the `wild' and seven of the `domestic' as hybrids. However, sample sizes also are small, indicating the need for a conservative approach in the first instance in using these results. As more animals are genotyped, assignments will become more accurate, and a translocation programme to establish a second Nepalese wild population in a protected area could be undertaken.]
Fogel, G.: The art of armadillo lizards (Cordylus cataphractus): fifteen years of captive observations. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 38, No. 6 (2003), pp. 113–119.
Gregson, J.: Breeding the wrinkled hornbill Aceros corrugatus at Paignton Zoo Environmental Park. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 2 (2003), pp. 80–81.
Guerrero, D.: Behaviour evaluation: a Japanese macaque in a private collection who has begun to bite. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 6 (2003), pp. 230–232.
Guerrero, D.: Why was an animal held in a privately-owned facility included in the column? Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 8 (2003), pp. 317–318. [Diana Guerrero's column `Animal Behavior Concerns and Solutions' appears regularly in Animal Keepers' Forum.]
Hardy, A.: Breeding and hand-rearing the blue-winged leafbird Chloropsis cochinchinensis at the Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 14–21.
Hare, V.J., Ripsky, D., Battershill, R., Bacon, K., Hawk, K., and Swaisgood, R.R.: Giant panda enrichment: meeting everyone's needs. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 401–416. [San Diego Zoo is participating in an ongoing comprehensive enrichment plan for its three giant pandas. In February 1998, Panda Team members identified specific goals for each adult panda, and began developing an enrichment plan to meet those goals. All three animals are provided with opportunities to explore their environment and exercise their physical and mental abilities. Behavioral data are routinely collected to assess the effectiveness of the strategies in use. However, meeting the needs of the pandas is just the beginning of creating an effective, long-term enrichment plan. The plan must also consider staff time and effort, institutional requirements, resource availability, visitors' experiences, and research protocols. The authors describe the enrichment plan in detail, discuss the process of developing and maintaining it, and explore potential problems and their solutions, with the specific intention of providing guidelines for other institutions interested in creating an enrichment plan for giant pandas.]
Jakher, G.R., Dookia, S., and Dookia, B.R.: Herd composition and population dynamics of Gazella bennetti (Sykes, 1831) in Gogelao Enclosure (Nagaur), Rajasthan. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 17, No. 11 (2002), pp. 936–938.
Kemp, Y.M.: Exotic diseases – Part 1. Foot and mouth disease. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 6 (2003), pp. 236–237.
Kemp, Y.M.: Exotic diseases – Part 2. West Nile virus. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 7 (2003), pp. 278–279.
Kemp, Y.M.: Exotic diseases – Part 3. Exotic Newcastle disease. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 8 (2003), pp. 320–325.
Ledbrook, V.: Enrichment methods for cats at Colchester Zoo. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 130–131. [Mainly describes some olfactory enrichment ideas, in particular using spices and food flavourings.]
Lepperhoff, L.: The festive amazon Amazona festiva festiva in the wild and in captivity. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 29–37. [The captive breeding took place at the private Association Hyacinthinus parrot breeding centre in Switzerland.]
Luyster, J.S.: Enrichment as a behavioral modification tool in the zoo hospital setting. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 196–200. [Louisville Zoo, Kentucky, U.S.A.]
McDermott, L.: Humboldt penguin feeding study. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003), pp. 108–114.
McEntee, E.: Elephants love ketchup. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003), pp. 144–148. [Elephant enrichment at Detroit Zoo, Michigan.]
Marguli, S., and Weber, T.: Keepers and behavioral research: fostering the connection. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 7 (2003), pp. 285–287.
Miller, A.: Presenting diet items to encourage species-appropriate behaviors: a behavioral husbandry resource center workshop. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 7 (2003), pp. 288–291.
Miller, A., and Baker, W.K.: Sniffing out a path to enrichment. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003), pp. 160–171. [Little Rock Zoo, Arkansas. An experiment was conducted to test the reactions of a pair of wart hogs to urinary samples from several species. Activity levels seemed to increase with non-predator samples; with lion and leopard samples, the effect was a decrease in overall activity.]
Moehrenschlager, A., and Macdonald, D.W.: Movement and survival parameters of translocated and resident swift foxes Vulpes velox. Animal Conservation Vol. 6, No. 3 (2003), pp. 199–206. [To help guide translocation programmes of swift foxes or other imperilled species, the authors aimed to discern factors affecting translocation success among reintroduced swift foxes in Canada. Post-release movements characterized three stages. In the initial acclimation phase, foxes moved erratically and quickly distanced themselves from release sites. During the establishment phase, distances from the release site did not change significantly but daily movements were more wide-ranging than those of concurrently tracked, resident swift foxes. In the final settlement phase, movements of translocated foxes reflected those of resident individuals. Radio-telemetry showed that survival and reproductive success were highest for swift foxes with small dispersal distances, suggesting that measures should be taken to acclimatize animals to release sites. Since females had lower survival rates than males, translocations should also use a greater proportion of females to establish balanced sex ratios in the population. Translocated juveniles dispersed less far but survived and reproduced as well as translocated adults, suggesting that juveniles can be used to establish translocated foxes in small, protected areas, while minimizing demographic effects on source populations. The fact that survival rates and litter sizes of translocated foxes were similar to those of resident animals indicates that translocation can be an effective reintroduction tool for this endangered species, and possibly other foxes.]
Mulnix, P.M., Colello, D.N., and Baeyens, M.M.: Flat puppy syndrome in maned wolves corrected through physical therapy. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 7 (2003), pp. 281–284. [Little Rock Zoo, Arkansas, U.S.A.]
Narushima, E., Hayashi, T., Hara, T., Nose, N., and Komiya, T.: Changes in urinary concentrations of total estrogen and pregnanediol in a female giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) from 1991 to 2000. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 383–387. [Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, Japan.]
O'Brien, S., Emahalala, E.R., Beard, V., Rakotondrainy, R.M., Reid, A., Raharisoa, V., and Coulson, T.: Decline of the Madagascar radiated tortoise Geochelone radiata due to overexploitation. Oryx Vol. 37, No. 3 (2003), pp. 338–343. [To avoid the risk of misapplying conservation effort the correct diagnosis of the agent causing a population to decline requires scientific approaches. The radiated tortoise, endemic to southern Madagascar, is heavily harvested for food and for the pet trade. Fearing over-exploitation, the tortoise was protected under Malagasy law and placed on Appendix I of CITES, yet scientific evidence that the species is declining, and that exploitation is the agent driving any decline, is lacking. Interviews with tortoise harvesters, a comparison of the size of the tortoise's range through time, and estimates of tortoise abundance at 14 sites under different levels of harvest intensity were used to seek evidence of over-exploitation. In the first study to attempt to quantify the size of the illegal harvest, the authors estimated that up to 45,000 adult tortoises are harvested each year. The species is declining, with its range having contracted by one-fifth over the last 25 years. Three pieces of evidence strongly suggest that over-exploitation is driving this decline: (1) commercial harvesters reported travelling increasingly far, up to 200 km, to find sufficient densities of tortoises; (2) tortoises were either absent or at very low abundance at sites subject to commercial harvesting, but persisted at relatively high densities in remote, unharvested regions; and (3) tortoise abundance increased significantly with distance from urban centres of high demand for tortoise meat. If current rates of harvesting continue, the radiated tortoise will go extinct in the wild.]
Oehler, D.A.: Nest activity in rhinoceros hornbills Buceros rhinoceros in relation to artificial rainfall patterns. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 2 (2003), pp. 53–56. [The response of a pair of hornbills at Cincinnati Zoo, Ohio, U.S.A., to scheduled artificial monsoon rainfall and its subsequent cessation was observed as it pertained to circannual behaviour (behaviour occurring on an approximately annual basis; a rhythm or cycle of behaviour of approximately one year) and resulting reproductive behaviours. Examination of the relationship of reproductive success to the provision of artificial rain and its scheduled discontinuation was conducted. Empirical data shows that nest activity behaviours were non-existent prior to the provision of the rain patterns, and egg laying commenced within seven days after the cessation of the artificial monsoon rain. The study suggests that if natural-like cycles of rainfall are provided as part of the management of the captive rhinoceros hornbill population, successful breeding may result. The increase in captive breeding could have positive effects on the future conservation of this species.]
Olson, M.A., Yan, H., Li, D., Zhang, H., and Durrant, B.: Comparison of storage techniques for giant panda sperm. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 335–345. [The results of this study (by the Zoological Society of San Diego and the Wildlife Conservation and Research Center, Wolong, China) indicate that fresh sperm stored for up to nine days at 4°C maintains a higher viability than frozen-thawed sperm. Additional studies are needed to determine if the liquid-stored sperm also has motility and fertilizing capacity in vivo following AI. In addition, it was found that within certain parameters, the choice of cooling method is not critical to the cryosurvival of panda sperm. Therefore, further experimentation should focus on optimization of cryoprotectant concentration, freeze rate, thaw rate, and post-thaw treatment and storage.]
Owen, N.: Breeding the chestnut-tailed minla Minla strigula. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 12–13.
Peat, L.: Cotswold Wildlife Park review of 2002. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 38–39.
Peat, L.: Wonga success. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 9–11. [Cotswold Wildlife Park, U.K.; wonga pigeons (Leucosarcia melanoleuca) were successfully reared at the park using three different methods – parent-rearing, hand-rearing, and rearing by domestic Barbary dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea) foster-parents.]
Pérez-Garnelo, Delclaux, M., Talavera, C., López, M., and De la Fuente, J.: Use of computerized image analysis in the morphometric characterization of giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) spermatozoa obtained from the epididymis 4 hours postmortem. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 355–364. [Madrid Zoo, Spain.]
Phillips, P.: The wild birds of Dublin Zoo. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003), pp. 118–123.
Powell, V.J., and Wehnelt, S.C.: A new estimate of the population size of the Critically Endangered Rodrigues fruit bat Pteropus rodricensis. Oryx Vol. 37, No. 3 (2003), pp. 353–357. [The Rodrigues fruit bat is endemic to Rodrigues Island, the smallest of the Mascarene Islands in the Indian Ocean. The species is categorized as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. A study between February 2001 and February 2002 identified ten roosts, four previously unrecorded. Roost sites were located in the north and south of the island, all within forested valleys. Sixteen counts of each roost site, evenly spaced throughout the study period, showed dramatic changes in individual colony numbers, suggesting movement between roosts. Simultaneous counts of all colonies resulted in a minimum population estimate of 5,076, which is substantially higher than previous estimates of the species. This is believed to be due to a population increase since the last count, newly identified roosts and the movement of bats into different areas, allowing more accurate counts to be made.]
Pywell, M.: 40-year celebrations begin at Welsh Mountain Zoo. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003), pp. 97–101.
Racheli, L.: A brief note on the feeding behaviour of two Agapornis species. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 40–41. [Describes the use of feet to grasp food by A. taranta and A. pullarius.]
Restall, R.: The tri-coloured munia Lonchura malacca in Venezuela. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 2 (2003), pp. 49–52.
Riger, P., Schwartz, R., Lang, K., and Howard, J.: Thailand Clouded Leopard Conservation Program summary. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 7 (2003), pp. 294–295.
Rookmaaker, L.C.: Historical records of the rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) in northern India and Pakistan. Zoos' Print Journal Vol. 17, No. 11 (2002), pp. 923–929.
Schutz, P.: Breeding the hoopoe Upupa epops at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 1 (2003), pp. 22–28.
Schwitzer, C.: Seit 20 Jahren Wappentier – Varis (Varecia variegata) im Kölner Zoo. (20 years a logo animal – ruffed lemurs at Cologne Zoo.) Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo Vol. 46, No. 3 (2003), pp. 91–102. [German, with brief English summary. The black-and-white ruffed lemur has been Cologne Zoo's logo since 1982. Ruffed lemurs have been kept in Cologne since 1970 and bred since 1974. The zoo is the only one outside Madagascar to keep all three subspecies. The author describes the systematics, distribution and ecology of the species, and describes its husbandry in Cologne, discussing aspects of housing, nutrition, breeding, and birth control measures. The development of the EEP populations of both black-and-white and red ruffed lemurs is shown, and trends in their development are elucidated. Research studies of the nutritional ecology and population dynamics of ruffed lemurs carried out at Cologne Zoo are described.]
Seddon, P.J., Ismail, K., Shobrak, M., Ostrowski, S., and Magin, C.: A comparison of derived population estimate, mark-resighting and distance sampling methods to determine the population size of a desert ungulate, the Arabian oryx. Oryx Vol. 37, No. 3 (2003), pp. 286–294. [Post-release monitoring, including abundance estimation, is an important part of reintroductions, providing a basis for management intervention designed to achieve long-term persistence. The Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) became extinct in the wild in 1972, but since 1982 reintroductions have taken place in Oman and Saudi Arabia. Modelling of oryx population dynamics has highlighted the importance of precise estimation of population size (N). Between 1990 and 2000 three methods of estimating N have been applied in Mahazat as-Sayd protected area in Saudi Arabia: derived population estimates (DPE) based on known births and deaths, distance sampling, and mark-resighting (MR). This study assesses the feasibility and precision of these methods. Inability to assess precision, interdependence of consecutive estimates, and the assumption that all gains and losses are recorded, make DPE of limited value. At current densities, distance sampling along 455 km of driven transects yields too few detections to derive precise estimates of N. To achieve a coefficient of variation of 20% it would be necessary to drive up to c. 2,900 km of transect; this amount of survey effort could be achieved through pooling of data across repeat surveys of established transects. MR estimates, based on re-sighting of collared oryx, have the potential to yield the most precise estimates of N when the proportion of marked animals reaches 30% of the total population. The most reliable MR estimates available indicate the Mahazat as-Sayd Arabian oryx population had grown to more than 400 animals by 2000.]
Spinks, B.: Charco Palma pupfish in London. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 134–135. [Cyprinodon longidorsalis was discovered in the early 1980s and officially described in 1993. The fish's habitat was the brackish Charco la Palma spring in Nuevo León, Mexico, which eventually dried up. The species has been considered extinct in the wild since the end of 1991. A few specimens were recovered before the spring dried up, and populations are now held by one institution in the U.S. and two in the U.K. (London Zoo and the London Aquarium). London Zoo received ten fish in June 2000. They were housed in a tank almost as large as their natural habitat, and began to breed almost immediately. Currently a stable population is held at the zoo, and the London Aquarium took 20 individuals in January 2003. Fish tuberculosis (Mycobacterium sp.) is present in the zoo's population, manifesting itself as white lesions on the adult fish. Any symptomatic fish have to be euthanased, as a population can quickly fall to Mycobacterium. This has been an issue while breeding them, as the zoo cannot rely on a small population. The author describes the zoo's efforts to simulate the species' natural environment by manipulating their water's salt content and temperature fluctuations.]
Swaisgood, R.R., Ellis, S., Forthman, D.L., and Shepherdson, D.J.: Commentary: improving well-being for captive giant pandas: theoretical and practical issues. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 347–354. [The authors present the outcome of a panel discussion from Panda 2000, an international conference held in San Diego, California. The discussion addressed how to use animal motivation theory to develop enrichment programs that will improve physical and psychological well-being for giant pandas in captivity. Wild animals held in captivity too often develop behavioral abnormalities such as stereotypies. The motivational basis for these problems is related to species-specific behavioral needs that arise from evolutionary processes adapting the animal to its environment. A more general need is that for animals to exercise some control over their environment. These general principles of environmental enrichment were discussed with regard to past and future attempts to devise enrichment programs for giant pandas. Participants looked to nature for guidance where possible, but agreed that creative attempts to develop functional analogues of natural tasks and challenges is appropriate, regardless of `naturalness'. A holistic enrichment program should include improved enclosure design and husbandry practices; feeding enrichment modeled after bamboo feeding when possible; species-appropriate opportunities for social interaction and communication; and routine exposure to a diverse array of novel objects to stimulate play and exploration. These enrichment efforts should attempt to address specific behavioral needs or give the animal more choice and control over its environment.]
Sweeney, R.G.: The hand-rearing of a St Vincent parrot Amazona guildingii. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 2 (2003), pp. 62–68.
Teetzen, M., and Teetzen, D.: Firehose animals. Animal Keepers' Forum Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 212–216. [Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita, Kansas, U.S.A.; enrichment toys for big carnivores.]
van Heezik, Y., Ismail, K., and Seddon, P.J.: Shifting spatial distributions of Arabian oryx in relation to sporadic water provision and artificial shade. Oryx Vol. 37, No. 3 (2003), pp. 295–304. [The spatial distributions of 15.20 Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx), reintroduced into the fenced Mahazat as-Sayd protected area (2,244 km2) in western Saudi Arabia between 1990 and 1994, were examined from their release until the end of 1999. Over this period the authors observed a westward shift in home range location of most male and female founder oryx to include the rangers' camp within core areas of activity, despite rain falling in patches throughout most of the reserve. Sporadic and unplanned availability of water had occurred at the camp during several years. The pre-release enclosure was also located at the camp, and high-quality shading areas could be found underneath portacabins. Oryx that maintained independence of the camp tended to be older individuals and those released in the first years (1990–1992). Concentration of oryx in the western part of the protected area and around the camp could potentially reduce the effective carrying capacity of the reserve, change the social structure of the population, facilitate the transmission of disease, modify habitat in the form of a piosphere (a zone of attenuating animal impact away from a watering point) around the camp, and reduce potential genetic flow within the reintroduced population. Whereas wild-born oryx were observed at the camp, founders were disproportionately represented, suggesting that potential problems associated with dependence on the camp may diminish as the total population increases and ages.]
Warner, D.A.: Environmental and maternal influences on eggs and hatchlings of the eastern fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus). Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society Vol. 38, No. 7 (2003), pp. 129–136.
White, D.: How to build a coconut cricket feeder. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 128–129. [Marwell Zoo: a simple enrichment device for small primates.]
Wilkinson, R.: Chester Zoo bird review 2002. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 109, No. 2 (2003), pp. 69–77.
Williams, R.: Zoo animal photography. Ratel Vol. 30, No. 4 (2003), pp. 91–93.
Williams, T.: Blackpool Zoo helps with ground-breaking elephant conservation project in India. Zoos' Print Vol. 17, No. 11 (2002), pp. 20–21. [A team of four from the zoo instigated a microchipping project for captive Asian elephants. The Indian government has now made the registration and microchipping of elephants mandatory, and soon all movement of elephants will be monitored and checked, so that a complete record of each animal can be kept throughout its life.]
Wilson, M., Kelling, A., Poline, L., Bloomsmith, M., and Maple, T.: Post-occupancy evaluation of Zoo Atlanta's Giant Panda Conservation Center: staff and visitor reactions. Zoo Biology Vol. 22, No, 4 (2003), pp. 365–382. [Construction of a new zoo exhibit impacts animals, visitors, and staff, and considerable attention should be paid to evaluation of the exhibit. In November 1999, Zoo Atlanta received two giant pandas from China, which presented an opportunity to evaluate the new exhibit. The authors document the reactions of staff and visitors by a post-occupancy evaluation (POE). Confidential interviews were conducted with 23 staff, and 145 zoo visitors completed questionnaires. Staff and visitors were asked to assign quality ratings to specific areas of the exhibit, and complete a series of open-ended questions. The findings suggest that staff and visitors evaluated the exhibit favorably. On a five-point scale, it received mean ratings of 3.64 from the staff and 4.50 from the visitors. With a few exceptions, most areas of the exhibit met or exceeded staff expectations. Staff and visitors identified a number of strengths and weaknesses of the exhibit. Staff most frequently recommended changes to the pandas' space and the ability to address husbandry issues, while a large number of visitors did not suggest any changes, or did not respond to the question. Visitors who did respond to the question most often recommended that the zoo display additional pandas and modify the pandas' space. There were no significant differences in visitors' ratings of the different areas of the enclosure, or in their overall impressions of the exhibit. The results are examined in terms of general implications for zoo exhibit design, construction, and evaluation, and in light of the goals of this facility. The study highlights the benefits of conducting POEs in a zoo setting.]
Wilson, S.: ISO 14001, BS8555, EMS? What are they and why are they important to zoos? Ratel Vol. 30, No. 5 (2003), pp. 125–126. [The acronyms stand for International Standardisation Organisation, British Standard and Environmental Management Systems. The author outlines the way in which zoos are under increasing external pressure to improve their environmental policies.]
Publishers of the periodicals listed:
Animal Conservation, Zoological Society of London, Regent's Park, London NW1 4RY, U.K.
Animal Keepers' Forum, American Association of Zoo Keepers, 3601 S.W. 29th Street, Suite 133, Topeka, Kansas 66614, U.S.A.
Avicultural Magazine, Membership Secretary, Stewart Pyper, 21 Primrose Hill, Nunney, Frome, Somerset BA11 4NP, U.K.
Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society, 2430 North Cannon Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60614, U.S.A.
Oryx, Cambridge University Press (for Fauna and Flora International), The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU, U.K.
Ratel, Association of British Wild Animal Keepers, 110 Carrick Knowe Drive, Edinburgh EH12 7EL, U.K.
Zeitschrift des Kölner Zoo, Zoologischer Garten, Riehler Strasse 173, D-50735 Köln, Germany.
Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.
Zoos' Print, Zoo Outreach Organisation, Box 1683, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641 004, India.