International Zoo News Vol. 47/6 (No. 303) September 2000


Conservation and Science in Canada's Aquariums and Zoos Robert E. Wrigley
Orang-utans in Zoos: Husbandry, Welfare and Management in an Atypical Arboreal Solitary Mammal Spartaco Gippoliti
Are Elephant Enrichment Studies Missing the Point? P.A. Rees
Letters to the Editor
Book Reviews
Annual Reports
International Zoo News
Recent Articles


I was extremely interested to receive the letter from Clinton Keeling which is printed below (p. 372). In a book review in the last issue, I had expressed my surprise on learning that wapiti at the West Midland Safari Park regularly eat rabbits. Mr Keeling, on the other hand, wasn't surprised at all, and proceeds to quote numerous instances of herbivores eating mice, rats, lizards, pigeons, fish, and even wallabies and antelopes. He also makes the point that grazing animals must inevitably consume large quantities of invertebrates in the course of their normal feeding. Now that the fact has been brought to my attention, it seems so obvious that I can't imagine why it had never occurred to me before. Coincidentally, at about the time Clinton Keeling's letter arrived I also received the latest issue of Dodo, the annual publication of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. In it, an article by Eluned Price et al. (Dodo Vol. 35, pp. 57–66) draws attention to the growing number of field studies pointing to the importance of insects, and other animal matter, in the natural diet of Callitrichidae. This may explain these animals' high protein requirement, which captive diets in the past often failed to satisfy.

What seems certain is that a straightforward classification of any species as carnivorous, or herbivorous, or insectivorous, or whatever, is almost certain to be an over-simplification. But it is hard to shake free of the generalisations about animal dietary habits that we learned as children – that monkeys and apes eat fruit, the dog family eat meat, and so on. I well remember the astonishment which greeted Jane Goodall's revelation, in the early 1960s, that chimpanzees regularly hunt and kill monkeys and other small mammals for food. (Those who, like me, had been keen readers in childhood of Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan books were perhaps less shocked than most people, having been brought up on the idea that great apes ate meat when they could get it!) But is meat even now, more than 30 years later, an accepted part of the diet of most captive chimps? Somehow, I doubt it. Again, in another recent book review, I drew attention to the fact that some wild maned wolves have been found to eat more fruit than meat; but zoos are only gradually coming to realise that the cystinuria which is a major health problem of this species in captivity is directly linked to a diet too high in meat. Frugivorous dogs, carnivorous apes, insectivorous cattle – it all seems a long way from those familiar dietary tables with their percentages of crude protein and fat and ash and fibre. . .

To take one more example, how much do we know about the extent, or benefits, of eating soil? In another letter (I.Z.N. 45:6, pp. 366–367) Clinton Keeling described how George Jennison, director of Manchester's Belle Vue Zoo, was so convinced of the importance of earth in the avian diet that he ordered small dishes of it to be provided for many of the birds in the collection. I would be interested to hear comments on this idea – or the other points raised above – from readers with practical experience in zoo animal nutrition.

Nicholas Gould



The Canadian Association of Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) was founded in 1975 to promote the welfare of zoo and aquarium wildlife, to advance related science and conservation, and to encourage public education and recreation. CAZA News, a web site, and the annual meeting are the main avenues for distributing information to a membership scattered over great distances across the country. However, most conservation and research activities of Canada's aquariums, zoos, and related facilities are largely unknown beyond each organization. Recognizing this problem, the Conservation and Science Committee of CAZA embarked on a project to gather, document and communicate these achievements.

The survey had the following objectives: (1) to set up a reference database on conservation and science initiatives of its membership, with the intention of disseminating these data on the CAZA web site; (2) to advance the profile and reputation of CAZA and Canadian aquariums and zoos; and (3) to prepare a summary useful as promotional support in dealing with governments and agencies. A letter was sent to all 112 institutional and individual members, requesting information on their conservation and science activities for the period of 1996 to 1999. To assist in formulating responses and the final report, information was requested under specific categories.

Survey results

Over 1,000 entries were recorded. This large collection of information offered quite a challenge in presentation in report form. An abbreviated topic description and support agencies were selected as most relevant, omitting authors and detailed data (which may be retrieved by contacting the relevant facility). The entire 16-page report is available on CAZA's web site: . The following examples give an indication of the variety of subjects reported.

Conservation committees (local to international)

Assiniboine Park Zoo: member on the Manitoba Natural Resources, Endangered Species and Ecological Reserves advisory committees. Calgary Zoo: member of the Conservation Breeding Specialist Group (CBSG) of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Ecomuseum: recovery program for the threatened eastern spiny soft-shelled turtle (Trionyx s. spiniferus) and western chorus frog (Pseudacris triseriata). Toronto Zoo: on the board of the Canadian Organization for Tropical Education and Rainforest Conservation.

Species Survival Programs (SSP and EEP), Studbooks, and CITES-listed species

African Lion Safari: 5 SSPs and Studbooks, and 3 Rare Breeds Registries. Assiniboine Park Zoo: 17 SSPs, 1 EEP and 33 species Studbooks; 26 species on CITES Appendix I and 63 species on Appendix II. Calgary Zoo: 20 SSPs. Crystal Garden: 8 SSPs and 10 Studbooks. Jungle Cat World: Snow Leopard SSP, and Studbooks and Population Management Plans (PMPs) for five other cat species. Toronto Zoo: 24 SSPs and 91 Studbooks and PMPs; five staff are on committees of Taxon Advisory Groups, Scientific Advisory Groups, Faunal Interest Groups, and the Wildlife Conservation Management Committee – all directed by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA).

Canadian Collection Plan

Now in its formative stage, this plan's objectives are rationalizing and managing zoo and aquarium animal collections within Canada, and in association with AZA's various species plans. Priority is directed to species that are endangered or threatened (particularly if native to Canada), and that demonstrate interpretive value.

Habitat research, restoration and preservation (natural and captive environments)

Biodome of Montreal: study of unicellular benthic and planktonic algae in marine waters of the Gulf of St Lawrence. Calgary Zoo: Master Gardener Volunteer Program, which conducts plant rescues and habitat restoration. Jungle Cat World: developed enclosures with special landscaping features designed to stimulate natural behavior in cougar, jaguar and Amur leopard. Riverview Park and Zoo: riverbank erosion-control program to reduce impacts of pedestrian traffic and river flow, and to encourage fish habitat. Toronto Zoo: creation of a sanctuary for the common hippopotamus in Ghana; on an international team assessing habitat of the Komodo dragon in Indonesia. Vancouver Aquarium: `River Works' Program (492 volunteers) restored six sites along the Fraser River; surveyed and inventoried estuarine biota. Zoo St-Felicien: use of exhibit design in large enclosures to attract animals into public view.

Animal population surveys, recovery plans and release projects

African Lion Safari: released trumpeter swans, bald eagles and burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia). Aquarium of Quebec: operates a stranded-seal recovery centre for the St Lawrence estuary. Assiniboine Park Zoo: field research and publishing a book, Tiger Beetles of the Prairie Provinces. Bowmanville Zoo: reintroduction of large carnivores to managed wild areas in South Africa. Calgary Zoo: endangered species recovery initiatives, such as breeding and release of the endangered Vancouver Island marmot (Marmota vancouverensis). Ecomuseum: collects data for a `Quebec Atlas of Amphibians and Reptiles'. Granby Zoo: habitat and movement of walrus in the High Arctic. Kamloops Wildlife Park: breeds and releases annually several dozen burrowing owls. Toronto Zoo: breeding and release of Puerto Rican crested toad (Peltophryne lemur), redside dace (Clinostomus elongatus) and desert pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius); collection and study of Vietnamese invertebrates. Valley Zoo: released 27 zoo-born swift fox over an eight-year period. Vancouver Aquarium: launched ORCA-FM – the world's first all-whale FM broadcast station, which monitors sounds of whales along the British Columbia coast, allowing the recognition of dialects of resident pods and their movements; photo-identification census of 700 killer whales.

Behavioral research (under wild and captive conditions)

Assiniboine Park Zoo: cooperated with University of Winnipeg on a 15-year study of social behavior in three captive colonies (65 individuals) of lion-tailed macaque. Calgary Zoo: behavior of free-ranging ex-captive orang-utan; vocal learning and behavior in the chimpanzee in Uganda. Toronto Zoo: effects of an elephant protected-contact protocol on social behavior; behavioral predictors of estrus in Indian and Sumatran rhinos. Vancouver Aquarium: behavior, life history and ecology of killer whale and other marine mammals; use of ice as a reinforcer in maintaining behavioral control of Steller's sea lion. Zoo St-Felicien: changes in dominance, activity and behavior in a 12-member pack of gray wolf.

Husbandry research

African Lion Safari: design and building of breeding chambers for palm cockatoos in Java. Aquarium of Quebec: breeding and management of seahorses and husbandry techniques for jellyfish and live corals. Assiniboine Park Zoo: helped Manitoba Government develop facility guidelines and an application procedure for aquariums/zoos wishing to receive orphaned wild polar bears. Barrett Aviaries: hand-feeding protocol and cooperative breeding program for crowned pigeons. Calgary Zoo: assisted Cuba's Havana Zoo and Guyana's Georgetown Zoo with master plan and husbandry advice. Toronto Zoo: developed an AZA husbandry manual for the Puerto Rican crested toad, and protocols for raising and breeding the Vancouver Island marmot, black-footed ferret, loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa samuelis), and tarantulas. Vancouver Aquarium: prepared husbandry protocols for 12 species of marine fishes and five species of shrimps. Zoo St-Felicien: researched multiple-species exhibits, including five carnivores (river otter, red fox, raccoon, striped skunk and American marten) in one large enclosure, and seven herbivores/omnivores (bison, elk, white-tailed deer, black bear, bighorn sheep, mountain goat and prairie dog) in another.

Veterinary research

African Lion Safari: trained Indonesians with use of medications for captive and wild birds. Aquarium of Quebec: health of fish in the St Lawrence River. Assiniboine Park Zoo: assisted with research project on the parasitic nematode Parelaphostrongylus odocoilei in wild Stone's and Dall's sheep. Bowmanville Zoo: semen collection in Asian and African elephants as part of an international artificial insemination effort. Calgary Zoo: chick survivability in wild whooping crane in Wood Buffalo National Park. Granby Zoo: anaesthetic drug studies on Atlantic walrus and grey seal. Quebec Zoological Garden: relative efficiency of tranquillizing drugs for free-ranging moose. Saskatoon Zoo: training association with the Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Toronto Zoo: embryo collection through estrus synchronization using progesterone implants in wood bison; treatment of Cryptosporidiosis parasite in captive reptiles. Valley Zoo: progesterone levels in Asian elephant in relation to estrus. Vancouver Aquarium: risk analysis for potential fungal disease in beluga; development of a new contraceptive approach for killer whale. Zoo St-Felicien: prevention of infection by meningeal worm (Parelaphostrongylus tenuis) of a caribou herd by means of snail-proof fence and sand barriers.

Physiological, reproductive, morphological, biochemical and genetic research

African Lion Safari: artificial insemination techniques for falcons. Assiniboine Park Zoo: samples for DNA projects on bush dog and markhor. Biodome of Montreal: physiological and behavioral adaptations in response to energy and nitrogen requirements of three species of tropical bats. Bowmanville Zoo: bioenergetics and nitrogen balance of African and Asian elephants. Calgary Zoo: porcine zona pellucida (an injectable drug manufactured from pig ovary protein) as an immune-stimulated contraceptive in large mammals. Granby Zoo: retroposition and evolution of mammalian genome using blood of the Jamaican fruit bat; neuroanatomy of gorilla. Quebec Zoological Garden: annual variation of body composition, reproductive hormones and blood constituents in red fox. Toronto Zoo: evaluation of reproductive function from urine and faecal samples in mammalian species (e.g. killer whale, Tasmanian devil); canine reproductive studies involving artificial insemination, gamete freezing, genome resource bank. Vancouver Aquarium: population genetics of killer whale; metabolic rates and thermoregulation of Steller's sea lion. Zoo St-Felicien: investigation of inbreeding in the gray wolf by means of blood analysis.

Nutritional research

African Lion Safari: provided elephant milk to Glober for analysis and production of a powdered milk formula for elephants. Biodome of Montreal: food choices of pollen and nectar of a captive fruit bat (Glossophaga soricina) colony. Calgary Zoo: assessment of nutrient utilization by captive felines. Granby Zoo: guide to diets of terrestrial mammals, seals, amphibians, and reptiles of Quebec. Toronto Zoo: nutritional value of invertebrates as food for zoo animals; effect of freezer storage on nutritional value of fish. Vancouver Aquarium: nutritional energetics of Steller's sea lion in light of declines in Alaskan populations; 20-year study of the diet of resident and transient killer whales. Zoo St-Felicien: effects of nutrition on the growth of captive and wild caribou; development of an aquatic plant-based pelletized food (with anti-inflammatory and anti-diarrhea properties) for moose.

Horticultural research

Biodome of Montreal: propagation program for 150 species of native plants for use in exhibits; ginseng reproduction by somatic embryogenesis, and woodland cultivation. Toronto Zoo: eradication of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria); creation of wetland habitats and butterfly meadows; Red Mulberry Recovery Project. Valley Zoo: short-grass prairie restoration program on zoo grounds. Zoo St-Felicien: regeneration of a mixed forest in a 325-hectare enclosure with moose and other browsers.

Registration and data-management research

Many Canadian zoos participate in the International Species Information System (ISIS), which maintains computerized records on captive wildlife on a worldwide basis through the Animal Record Keeping System (ARKS). Assiniboine Park Zoo: entered 10,000 historical (back to 1905) animal records into ARKS. Calgary Zoo: new web site outlining conservation programs. Toronto Zoo: incorporating data from the Medical Animal Record Keeping System (MedARKS) into the BIOCON program to provide reference for blood samples. Vancouver Aquarium: installation of on-line monitoring of aquatic-exhibit systems; completion of fish transactions into ARKS 3.0.9, and MedARKS; preparing to work on ARKS 4.0, which allows entry of invertebrates; planning for operation of a new marine-mammal, electronic-database system, using touch-screen technology.

Taxonomic and anthropological research

Assiniboine Park Zoo: donates carcasses of zoo animals to the Manitoba Museum and the University of Manitoba for archaeological identification, displays, and taxonomic research. Biodome of Montreal: discovery of a new species of predatory marine mite in an aquarium; taxonomy of copepods (Crustacea) in the Baltic Sea. Vancouver Aquarium: described larval forms of marine fishes and shrimps. Zoo St-Felicien: comparison of glues (using moose skin, fat, and fir resin) as a binder for paintings completed on birch bark by 18th-century aboriginal people.

Resource conservation and pollution control

Biodome of Montreal: mercury exposure and ecosystem health in the Amazon. Riverview Park and Zoo: contract with local farmers to spread natural zoo wastes on agricultural land. Toronto Zoo: achieved 34% reduction in landfill; retrofitted fluorescent lights with T-8 lights, resulting in substantial energy and financial savings; undertook Environmental Management and Audit System Plan; participates in City Smog Alert. Valley Zoo: composts all appropriate wastes from animals and zoo operation; recycles metal and paper. Vancouver Aquarium: `Great BC Beach Clean Up' (1,400 volunteers from 70 community groups) cleaned 80 kilometres of beach at 70 sites. Zoo St-Felicien: uses an artificial marsh to cleanse waste water.

Conservation awards and fund-raising

Assiniboine Park Zoo: `Save the Rhino Fund' contributions by the APZ Zookeepers Association. Biodome of Montreal: grants received for research on various aspects of forest ecology, marine life, wood turtle, and bat boxes. Calgary Zoo: Conservation Fund contributions to study grizzly bear in the Canadian Rockies; to the Snow Leopard Trust; gray wolf–cattle predation; lion tamarin field work and reintroduction in Brazil; to Jane Goodall Institute of Canada for an enclosure for 71 orphaned chimps; to Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International to protect the gorilla; to Alberta Birds of Prey Centre; to Belize Zoo and Tropical Education Centre to repair hurricane damage; to tree kangaroo conservation in Papua New Guinea. Jungle Cat World: funding feline projects, such as Amur leopard field conservation and captive husbandry. Toronto Zoo: AZA awards for Adopt-a-Pond and Massasauga rattlesnake projects; 28 projects were supported by the zoo's Endangered Species Reserve Fund. Vancouver Aquarium: offers scholarships for killer whale research and for excellence in animal husbandry.

Publications, technical reports and conference presentations

A total of 104 publications were listed in the most recent annual reports. The main contributors were Toronto Zoo with 51, Vancouver Aquarium (30), and Biodome of Montreal (23). Several annual reports and submissions also listed technical presentations and reports; totalling 111, the main contributors were the Biodome of Montreal with 79 and Toronto Zoo with 28.


The survey uncovered a wide diversity of fields of investigation, many involving species at risk and others of an applied nature. Every class of vertebrate and many types of invertebrates and plants received attention. Terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems were all well represented, not only in Canada, but in many regions of the world. The number of entries in each survey category offered a good indication of the amount of research activity directed to each area:

Local and International Conservation Committees, 12; Species Survival Programs, 99, Studbooks, 210; Special Interest Groups (numerous) and over 100 CITES-listed species; Canadian Collection Plan (four zoos involved in preliminary work, using inventory data provided by other facilities); Habitat Research, Restoration and Preservation, 36; Animal Population Surveys, Recovery Plans, and Release Projects, 68; Behavioral Research, 32; Husbandry Research, 34; Veterinary Research, 36; Physiological, Reproductive, Morphological, Biochemical, and Genetic Research, 41; Nutritional Research, 20; Horticultural Research, 8; Registration and Data-management Research, 9; Taxonomic and Anthropological Research, 7; Resource Conservation and Pollution Control, 17; and Science and Conservation Awards and Fund-raising, 55. There were 104 publications and 111 projects and conference presentations listed.

Many facilities reported close involvement (particularly in SSPs) with the AZA, and currently, the Vancouver Aquarium, Toronto Zoo, Calgary Zoo, Granby Zoo and Assiniboine Park Zoo are AZA member institutions. There was also frequent mention of joint efforts (in Canada and dozens of other countries) with universities, provincial, state and federal wildlife agencies, and private conservation organizations, which demonstrates that zoo/aquarium staff are integrating, sharing and applying their skills and experience in ways that truly benefit natural science and wildlife conservation.

There was frequent emphasis on Canadian species at risk. With the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) list of Canadian wildlife species and populations at risk reaching 353 this year, and biodiversity threatened in many areas of the country, CAZA facilities are well placed to carry out technical investigations in both field and laboratory, as part of monitoring and rescue plans for Canadian wildlife.

This flurry of scientific investigation generates innovative ideas, attracts new partnerships and resources, and creates a momentum that makes aquariums and zoos exciting and productive places to work. Such positive incentives cannot help but attract highly qualified and energetic people to our field, which is so important to the future of zoos and aquariums. With `research and development' often under budgetary attack, it is essential that those operating zoos and aquariums (whether an individual, board, or city) be continually informed of the critical importance of supporting scientific and conservation work.

The results of all these research activities and networking also emerge through imaginative educational programming – exhibits, interpretive presentations, publications, media appearances, films, web sites, tours, etc. – leading to greater public understanding and appreciation of nature and to support for conservation initiatives. Yet, the contributions of aquariums and zoos to science and conservation are not widely known by the public, nor even among aquarium/zoo staff in Canada. With the pressures of daily work, it is all too easy to forget that other people (in our field as well as the general public) are keenly interested in what we are doing.

Zoos and aquariums maintain a veritable treasury of the world's life forms, including a high percentage of species at risk. This invaluable resource lies within easy access of most people, students, and biological researchers. While there exists considerable use of these collections by staff and other researchers, the potential for more investigation is boundless and deserves encouragement. Through the involvement of researchers from other agencies, universities, and volunteers, the animal collections receive much-deserved scientific attention, ultimately benefiting the conservation of species in the wild.

Dr William Conway, in his keynote address at the Seventh World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species (May 1999, Cincinnati), articulated the importance of linking `zoo and field', and highlighting how wild- and zoo-animal interactive management and habitat protection are establishing zoos and aquariums as major proactive conservation organizations. The current review of recent activities of Canadian zoos and aquariums points out clearly that CAZA member facilities are actively taking research and conservation beyond the perimeter fence, by involving staff in cooperative wildlife research and management programs in their local communities, in many regions of Canada, and around the world.

Appendix 1: Institutions mentioned in the text.

African Lion Safari, RR 1, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada N1R 5S2.

Aquarium du Québec, 1675 avenue des Hôtels, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada G1W 4S3.

Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2355 Corydon Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3P 0R5.

Barrett Aviaries, 3745 Melrose Road, Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada V9K 1V3.

Biodôme de Montréal, 4777 Avenue Pierre de Coubertin, Montréal, Québec, Canada H1V 1B3.

Bowmanville Zoological Park, 340 King Street East, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada L1C 3K5.

Calgary Zoo, P.O. Box 3036, Station B, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2M 4R8.

Crystal Garden, 613 Pandora Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8W 1N8.

Écomuséum, 21125 chemin Sainte-Marie, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Québec, Canada H9X 3L2.

Granby Zoo, 525 St-Hubert, Granby, Québec, Canada J2G 1E8.

Jardin Zoologique du Québec, 8191 avenue du Zoo, Charlesbourg, Québec, Canada G1G 4G4.

Jungle Cat World, 3667 Conc. 6, Orono, Ontario, Canada L0B 1M0.

Kamloops Wildlife Park, P.O. Box 698, Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada V2C 5L7.

Riverview Park and Zoo, Water Street North, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada K9J 6Z5.

Saskatoon Zoo, 1903 Forest Drive, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada S7S 1G9.

Toronto Zoo, 361A Old Finch Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada M1B 5K7.

Valley Zoo, P.O. Box 2359, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T5J 2R7.

Vancouver Aquarium, P.O. Box 3232, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada V6B 3X8.

Zoo Sauvage de St Félicien, 2230 boulevard du Jardin, St Félicien, Québec, Canada G8K 2P8.

Robert E. Wrigley, Ph.D., Curator, Assiniboine Park Zoo, 2355 Corydon Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3P 0R5. (E-mail: )




Zoological gardens play an ever-increasing role in public education, animal research and biodiversity conservation, through the implementation of international captive-breeding programmes and the way they affect public awareness of wildlife conservation problems. However, all these aims are strongly dependent on the manner in which the animals are maintained and managed. If zoos do not exhibit animals in appropriate physical and social environments, the occurrence of some abnormal behaviours such as stereotyped movements, excessive inactivity, deviant sexual activities, abnormal maternal care, begging and food regurgitation can negatively affect public attitudes towards wildlife (Hutchins et al., 1984). In particular, major problems are encountered in the husbandry of great apes, man's closest relatives, as regards their species-specific behavioural ecology. As early as 1896 the American anthropologist Robert Garner suggested keeping African apes in large outdoor enclosures provided with a natural substrate, living trees and a lot of water (Hutchins et al., 1984), but his ideas were largely ignored – with a few exceptions, like Yerkes's and Madame Abreu's ape colonies. Even the Italian zoologist Michele Lessona described in 1889 a model orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus) exhibit which emphasized indoor housing in a large greenhouse (at least in winter months) with living trees, shrubs, running water, poles and bars to permit arboreal locomotion, and the presence of other compatible animals (Gippoliti, 1997).

Classically, apes have been housed in small, indoor and overheated cages with a concrete substrate. The resulting artificial and boring habitat heavily affects orang-utan behaviour (Harrisson, 1962). In recent decades changes in zoo philosophy, the growing number of long-term field studies and the first appraisals of behavioural problems in captive animals (Hediger, 1969; Morris, 1964; Meyer-Holzapfel, 1968; Maple, 1979) have led to a reconsideration of the principles and practices of great ape husbandry. However, while excellent captive habitats now exist for gorillas and chimpanzees in a number of zoos (e.g. van Hooff, 1973; Mallinson, 1980; Aspinall, 1986; Mager and Griede, 1986), orang-utans seem to suffer from less attention and more difficulties in achieving acceptable habitats for an arboreal large-sized primate.

In this article I shall review some key aspects of the management and husbandry of captive orang-utans in the light of information obtained from field and laboratory studies, supplemented by personal observations of captive individuals in several European zoos.

Physical environment

The classic ape house was composed of several cages of similar size and design, poor in climbing apparatus and easy to keep clean. These environments, which have been identified as examples of `hard' architecture (Sommer, 1972), produce considerable degrees of stereotyped behaviour and inactivity in all great apes. Generalized climbing furniture may allow arboreal locomotion in the `knuckle-walking' African apes, but force adult orang-utans to adopt an unnatural `sloth-like' locomotion when moving horizontally, because of the excessive diameter of the climbing apparatus (Gippoliti, pers. obs.). Scarce or inadequate climbing furniture may be one of the causes of the high frequency of forcible copulations in captive orang-utans (Nadler, 1994), making it easier for the male to capture the female in the non-oestrous period.

Hard architecture developed as a consequence of the severe losses among newly imported primates by parasitic infestation in early zoo years, but quite recently Perth Zoo still needed 13 years to eradicate the nematode worm Strongyloides stercoralis from the orang-utan colony due to the inadequate hygienic conditions of the floor (Leefland and Markham, 1986). Cages made of concrete and bars, if fitted with appropriate furnishings suitable for orang-utan locomotion (climbing and clambering) and periodically equipped with new and movable objects, will permit high levels of activity for orang-utans (Wilson, 1982) as the orang-utan exhibit at Zürich Zoo amply demonstrates (Gippoliti, pers. obs.).

Orang-utans in the wild usually live between ten and 30 metres high in the canopy (Rodman, 1977; Rijksen, 1978), and only Bornean males are reported to make extensive use of the ground to travel and forage (Galdikas, 1988). Arboreal mammals are usually severely constrained in body size, but the orang-utan is, in this respect, an exception (Eisenberg, 1981, p. 256). Fat captive orang-utans staying permanently on the ground give a very poor image of the real natural history of this ape to zoo visitors. Captive orang-utans often prefer to stay on the ground even when appropiate climbing apparatus is available. The main reason for this is the absolute sterility of the artificial canopy (where it exists) compared with the floor level where the animals are usually fed by keepers and, in the worse cases, by the public. To properly maintain and exhibit the species, a really stimulating canopy must be created and the use of the cage floor reduced.

Adequate housing, which combines a naturalistic approach aimed at enhancing the public experience of wild animals with a functionalist design which promotes species-specific behavioural patterns, seems an enormous task for zoo managers. Appropriate housing of orang-utans cannot leave out of consideration some feature of old cages. It is almost impossible, in fact, to create a completely naturalistic exhibit capable of permitting the species' typical arboreal life-style, and at the same time resisting the destructive and investigative skills of the `red ape' in a limited-sized area (Markham, 1990). Up to now, moated enclosures have been the commonest response to the demands of aesthetics and the public wish to see `free' animals, but, while suitable for terrestrial primates such as baboons, they are completely inadequate for the orang-utan. Even the most recently described `naturalistic' exhibits (Maple and Finlay, 1989; Mallinson et al., 1994) fail to recreate key aspects of orang-utan natural habitat, and probably do not encourage arboreal activity as they should. Arboreality will permit captive orang-utans to develop long hair all over the body surface, unlike that of individuals living constantly on the ground (MacKinnon, 1975), and will reduce parasitic reinfestation caused by faecal contact, an important cause of upper respiratory-tract infections (Markham, 1990). Predation by a clouded leopard on seven young orang-utans moving on the ground at Ketambe in northern Sumatra (Rijksen and Rijksen-Graatsma, 1975) highlights the importance of arboreality in wild orang-utans.

In captivity a climbing apparatus composed of flexible materials resembling living trees, branches and lianas will be preferable to an exclusively rigid one. The diameter of the climbing elements should not exceed 15 cm, and vertical features should receive more emphasis than in present zoo exhibits, to induce the orang-utans to use a more species-specific locomotion, clambering (Cant, 1987). To allow full use of the total cubic area, it is important that the roof and the vertical sides of the cage should be made of bars or wire mesh, not of concrete. This will facilitate locomotion and the installation of feeding apparatus such as the ape drain feeder used at London Zoo (Gilloux et al., 1992), so permitting the distribution of food over a large area high in the cage. The installation of such high-level feeding stations requires keeper facilities at the same height, even for normal feeding.

Optimal orang-utan housing should also include a sleeping cage for each adult animal (Markham, 1990) provided with one or more nest platforms. If a variety of nesting materials is provided high up along the wire mesh, orang-utans will engage in more time-consuming nest-building activities. Artificial rainstorms should be periodically produced both indoors and outdoors, a frequent occurrence in tropical rainforests for which wild orang-utans make overhead shelters with loose branches (MacKinnon, 1974). Each cage should be provided with wide opening doors, so that periodical changes in the internal furniture can easily be carried out (e.g. dead trees or large tree branches with leaves). When considering the welfare of orang-utans in captivity, the limiting factor zoos should bear in mind is not spatial volume, but the variety of new and manipulable materials available daily (Wilson, 1982; but see also Perkins, 1992).

Social environment

Orang-utans are the least gregarious of all diurnal primates, and the basic social units are: (1) solitary adult males; (2) adult females with offspring; and (3) solitary subadults (Horr, 1975; Rodman and Mitani, 1986). The relative independence of social factors in this species is demonstrated by the high reproductive rate of captive pairs when compared with that of other apes. In Rome Zoo, during the period 1930–1980, ten orang-utan births were registered as against only two births among chimpanzees, even though the latter have been generally more numerous (D'Alessandro and Gippoliti, 1996). To maintain orang-utans in permanent pairs does not seems appropriate for this solitary species, which, however, lives in a complex, though spatially dispersed, social environment (Galdikas 1979, 1985b).

Furthermore, laboratory studies suggest that orang-utan pairs show fecundity levels below their full potential. This is because sexual activity is imposed by the male without reference to the female sexual cycle. Thus the high frequency of forcible matings does not lead to a correspondingly high level of pregnancies, possibly because of low sperm density at the time the female is finally in oestrus. Experiments which involve keeping the two sexes separated, and giving the female the choice of whether and when to mate, have resulted not only in a higher level of conception, but also in a dramatic change in sexual behaviour, with males exhibiting a passive role and females showing considerable proceptive behaviour during the cycle (Nadler, 1994). Similar proceptive behaviour has also been observed in wild primiparous females (Galdikas, 1979, 1985b; Schürmann, 1982). Field studies indicate that the passive role is a more typical behaviour pattern of the adult male during a consortship period, while forcible copulation or `rape' is the normal strategy used by subadult males (Galdikas, 1985a) and probably leads to a very low incidence of effective conception.

Several zoological gardens have successfully kept orang-utans in social groups (Edwards and Snowdon, 1980; Martin, 1981, Poole, 1987). This can lead to higher levels of activity (Perkins, 1992), but also to a higher level of stress among group members (Markham, 1990, 1994) and a general misunderstanding of orang-utan natural history by the public. However, orang-utan sociality is still being studied. It has been supposed that the Sumatran orang-utan is more social than the Bornean one, according to observations in the wild (MacKinnon, 1974, 1975; Sugardjito et al., 1987) and in captivity (Jones, 1969; Mallinson, 1984). The importation of several `families' of Sumatran orang-utans consisting of an adult pair and a youngster (probably born during the journey) in the years 1926–1928 (Crandall, 1964; Jones, M.L., 1982) would seems to confirm at least a longer period of consortship for the Sumatran orang-utan. According to Sugardjito et al. (1987), in the Gunung Leuser National Park, northern Sumatra, socially coordinated groups occur during the fruit season, while the rarity of fig trees during the rest of the year make competition too high and social grouping disadvantageous. In a comparison of five study sites, van Schaik (1999) found that Bornean females are far more solitary than Sumatran females.

As suggested by van Hooff (1986), we should offer to orang-utans in captivity a chance to choose when and, possibly, with whom conspecifics meet. This would lead to the need to create a complex physical and social habitat where numerous individuals of each sex/age class could live in a large communal area or individual smaller areas. Hopefully, such a complex habitat could stimulate a wider range of social behaviour such as vocalizations. The `long call' uttered by high-ranking adult males is the loudest of such vocalizations, and in the wild is audible to a human up to 800 metres away (Mitani, 1985a). Long calls seem to mediate interindividual spacing among adult males (Galdikas, 1983; Mitani, 1985b), and a correlation between adult male density and long call rates has been proposed (Galdikas, 1983). Brandes (1939) recorded the frequent occurrence of long calls at Cros de Cagnes in France, where a shipment of wild-caught Sumatran orang-utans with almost ten adult males were temporarily kept. It is therefore not surprising that long calls rarely occur where a single adult male is kept. An adult male Sumatran orang-utan at Rome Zoo was observed to display aggressive behaviour and `kiss-squeaking' with wrist or back of hand (Maple, 1980, p. 35) on two occasions. This behaviour was associated with (1) noisy calls given by a newly-arrived, out-of-sight male stump-tailed macaque, and (2) fighting between two hooded crows flying above the cage. I only once heard this male emit a long call, which was probably related to the presence of a four-year-old female crying in an adjacent cage; but anecdotal evidence from earlier years suggests that at one time he gave long calls each day, especially before dusk, at a time when an adolescent male was also present in the same ape house (Gippoliti, pers. obs.). These observations confirm that orang-utans need to be exposed to a wide range of social stimuli to maintain their behavioural potential, yet they must not be kept as though they were group-living primates.

Feeding ecology and behaviour

Wild orang-utans spend from 45% to 60% of their daily activity foraging (Galdikas, 1988; Rodman, 1977), with males feeding less and travelling slightly more than females (Galdikas, 1988). Although mainly frugivorous, the orang-utan diet include leaves, bark, flowers and insects, totalling more than 320 different food types in one study area (Galdikas, 1988). In the same area fruits are the predominant food source, accounting for 61% of feeding time, but in the months when fruit eating is reduced to 20%, leaf-feeding increases considerably, from a mean value of 15% to 40%. According to Leighton (1993), orang-utans in eastern Borneo show an equal preference for the immature seeds of some plant species and the ripe pulp of others. The daily activity pattern consists of two feeding peaks, the main one in the morning and another in the afternoon while moving to the sleeping site. Orang-utans spend considerably less time foraging in zoos. Food is mainly offered on the ground at regular feeding times, usually twice a day, and consists of a variety of fruits, vegetables and high-protein pellets (Jones, D.M., 1982); sometimes an entirely artificial diet has been offered (Stoner et al., 1989). In one zoo, orang-utans spent only 14% of the day feeding (Bloomsmith, 1989). Although these diets can be adequate, the food and the way it is offered do not seem to meet the behavioural needs of the species for the following reasons:

(1) Food variety in some zoo diets is too restricted when compared with field data.

(2) Many of the fruits available in the wild need a lengthy process of preparation prior to ingestion to separate the edible and inedible portions (MacKinnon, 1974). The preferred primate fruits in eastern Borneo are characterized by an inedible but indehiscent rind or husk, yellow to orange or brown, that is peeled or bitten off before the sugar-rich flesh and seeds are swallowed (Leighton and Leighton, 1981). In northern Sumatra fruits with thick, hard and spiny shells are eaten in the trees only by orang-utans, an important ecological consequence of large body-size. The species listed by Rijksen (1978) are Durio oxleyanus, Heritiera elata, Artocarpus elastica, Strychnos ignatii and Monocarpia sp. Fruits with these physical characters are almost absent in Western zoo diets, so we can hardly speak of `natural diet' for orang-utans eating apples, pears, oranges etc.

(3) With a few exceptions among adult males, orang-utans forage in the middle and upper storey of trees. There they must assume some specific feeding postures to reach fruits near the periphery of the tree crowns, including for 47% of cases some kind of suspension. The most used of these postures is the `hand–foot hang posture' where `the subject is suspended from the branch by ipsilateral hand and foot, with the body essentially horizontal' (Cant, 1987). Feeding on the ground, captive animals barely need to exhibit these and other typical and highly adaptive positional behaviours.

(4) Wild orang-utans frequently consume fruits they have collected some distance away from the harvesting site (Rijksen, 1978), probably to have a more comfortable place when eating, and captive chimpanzees do the same (Gippoliti, pers. obs.). In captivity, orang-utans are fed the bulk of their diet in small indoor dens where they cannot (and do not need to, as food is easily available) select a particularly advantageous site. Furthermore, this husbandry practice implies that the animals are not fed in the outdoor area, which may result in a high level of inactivity, as provision of food is known to increase the locomotive activity of orang-utans (Tripp, 1985).

There is a clear need to review and improve the husbandry of captive orang-utans, looking `to nature as the model' (Maple and Bloomstrand, 1984). Feeding procedures should be species-specific. Commercial diets should not comprise the bulk of the feeding regime, and specific fruit species and vegetable items should be cultivated ad hoc to obtain food which is either more nutritional or not commercially available (Allchurch, 1986). Priority should be given to fruits that need careful preparation prior to ingestion (Bloomsmith, 1989), or at least fruits with medium-to-large seeds. The seeds of the medium-sized fruits of the palm Butia capitata and of the small berries of the hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) are both carefully separated from the edible part, while the acorns of the genus Quercus are peeled before the hard woody pericarp is ingested.

The usual feeding-time regime should be replaced by a procedure modelled on the orang-utan's natural time-budget, thus permitting lengthy feeding bouts, especially in the morning. This goal could be achieved by periodically providing the cages with small amounts of food. The technique used in many collections consists of scattering small-sized items around the cage (Allchurch, 1986; Jones, D.M., 1982; Poole, 1987), which results in higher locomotive activity at ground level (Tripp, 1985). This is undesirable with arboreal animals like orang-utans, so food should be offered instead in a number of high-level feeding stations. Some of these feeding places should be not easily accessible, so forcing the animals to use all their skills to collect the food items. As rightly suggested by Quick (1984), mechanical feeding apparatuses are an interesting option to solve the feeding problems of arboreal animals in captivity. Such apparatus will make food available in an unpredictable way, encouraging continual exploration of the environment.

Underlying causes of obesity

One of the main problems encountered by zoos in the husbandry of orang-utans is the propensity to obesity, a condition which is suspected as the underlying cause of the high adult mortality (e.g. King and Rivers, 1976; Markham, 1990). On average captive adult orang-utan weight is about 80% greater than in wild animals (Fooden and Izor, 1983; but see Markham and Groves, 1990, for a discussion on weights of wild specimens). According to Leigh (1994), orang-utans provide an exception among primates because their weight growth is indeterminate. The capacity of wild orang-utans to store fat is well known and is considered an important adaptation to the unpredictable spatial and temporal fruiting patterns of tropical rainforest plants (Wheatley, 1982; Leighton, 1993). In fact, adipose tissue permits orang-utans to survive for months principally on bark and low-quality foods in periods of fruit shortage in Borneo (Leighton and Leighton, 1983; van Schaik, 1986; Galdikas, 1988; Knott, 1998). Obesity in captivity seems to be the logical result of a constant supply of protein-rich food. However, some authors (Jones, 1969; MacKinnon, 1974) consider Bornean orang-utans more prone to become obese than Sumatran ones, and this has been observed even in the same institution and cage (e.g. King and Rivers, 1976; Gippoliti, pers. obs). Furthermore, captive Bornean orang-utans have been observed to show a much more generalist feeding behaviour compared to that of Sumatran animals, who seem more selective in their feeding choices (Gippoliti, pers obs).

These different behavioural patterns should relate to ecological differences between the islands of Borneo and Sumatra, with the former exhibiting a more seasonal or interannual variation in fruit production and, thus, a strong adaptation of orang-utans in Borneo to such a habitat pattern. Scattered evidence suggests that this is the case. Borneo, with 287 species, hold the largest species-diversity of Dipterocarpaceae in the whole of South-East Asia (Ashton, 1988), while in Sumatra the dipterocarps share the emergent stratum with other families `to a much higher degree' than in Borneo (Whitmore, 1985). Despite their importance in the species composition of Far East tropical rainforest, Dipterocarpaceae are considered to play only a negligible role as a food source for frugivore vertebrates, to such an extent that their abundance is supposed to have adversely affected the sociality of primates of the genus Macaca (Caldecott, 1986).

A further difference emerging from field studies lies in the role played by fig trees as a source of food in the two islands. While in the Ketambe area of northern Sumatra feeding on Ficus fruits accounts for 54% of the total fruit-feeding time (Rijksen, 1978), in Borneo fig trees are variously described as not so numerous as in Sumatra (MacKinnon, 1974); an important source of bark and leaves, but not of fruits (Rodman, 1977); selected against compared with non-fig fruit (Leighton, 1993); or totally absent from the study area (Galdikas, 1988). As the role of figs as `keystone mutualist' to maintain tropical frugivorous communities during periods of fruit scarcity is well known (e.g. Leighton and Leighton, 1983), their absence from the diet of orang-utans in Borneo should force them to rely more on a low-quality diet, migration and fat storage during fruit peaks than Sumatran orang-utans. Therefore, we may speculate that captive management may involve more difficulties in achieving psychophysical well-being for the Bornean subspecies.


Management of orang-utans exemplifies the different needs associated with exhibiting wild animals in zoos. As Robinson (1998) eloquently states, `tension between visitors' perceptions of animals' welfare needs, their biological needs, our lack of full understanding of the real nature of ecological and behavioural needs, and the need to educate through exhibits is real.' In the case of the orang-utan, conflicts are apparent between `naturalism' and the species' solitary nature, their specialized arboreal mode of life and their large body size and strength. It seems worthwhile to find a way to achieve welfare goals without jeopardizing the conservation message conveyed by exhibiting the atypical red ape in species-specific habitats incorporating both naturalistic and functionalist elements. It is crucial that zoos do not limit themselves to exhibiting taxonomic diversity, but emphasize, through their exhibits, the diversity of behavioural ecology as well.


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Zoo elephants have been the subject of many attempts at environmental enrichment. Most of the studies reported in the literature have involved the use of food or feeding devices. At San Diego Zoo large blocks of ice containing fruit (`fruitsicles') have been produced using a garbage can as a mould (Hartnett, 1995). At Metro Washington Park Zoo (Portland, Oregon) peanut butter has been spread among the roots of tree stumps, and at Zürich Zoo peanuts have been hidden above a stone border in an attempt to increase foraging behaviour (Wiedenmayer, 1998). Other enrichment projects have used feeder balls, logs, tyres, pumpkins, browse, sand and earth, and carrots hidden in sand (Green, 1993; Haight, 1993; Gilbert, 1994). Some of these techniques and devices have been successful at increasing overall activity in elephants and in particular in reducing stereotypic behaviour, but are they really missing the point?

Elephants are social animals. For most zoo elephants, even those that are socially inept, the most effective environmental enrichment is the presence of other elephants. There is considerable scientific evidence of the significance of social contact to elephants. In the wild, elephant society is dominated by the relationships formed between females (Douglas-Hamilton and Douglas-Hamilton, 1978; Moss, 1988; Sukumar, 1994). Similar strong bonds have been observed among captive elephants. Schmid (1994) has emphasised the importance of elephants having a choice of social partners. She found that 16 out of 23 circus elephants kept in paddocks exchanged social contacts most frequently with an animal which they could not reach when they were shackled. In a study of three different zoo groups Garai (1992) recorded the existence of special relationships between female Asian elephants based on an analysis of spatial proximity, partner-specific reactions to arousal and vocalising, and the absence of agonistic behaviour. These studies illustrate not only that elephants need to interact with other elephants, but that they form special bonds with particular individuals. Elephants who are close friends may perform intense greeting ceremonies after being separated for just a short time. This may occur in some zoo elephants several times a day, even when the individuals have not been out of sight of each other.

Young calves represent perhaps the most significant behavioural enrichment for elephants in captivity, providing opportunities for adults to exhibit an extended range of behaviours including allomothering, chastisement and play (Lee, 1987; Rapaport and Haight, 1987; Rees, in press). Keeping bull elephants with cows and their calves offers opportunities both for adults to engage in sexual behaviour and for calves to take part in the occasional `mating pandemonium'. Adults in zoo herds containing calves will also form protective circles around them when they perceive a threat from unusual noises or events, just as they would in the wild (Douglas-Hamilton and Douglas-Hamilton, 1978; Moss, 1988).

Feeders and other enrichment devices may reduce stereotypic behaviours, but these are often replaced by equally `abnormal' behaviours. Social contacts such as courtship, playing and fighting also reduce the frequency of undesirable stereotypic behaviours, but are only available to elephants kept in groups. Too many zoos keep single elephants or small groups. These animals are either completely denied contact with their own species or have very limited social contacts. The Asian elephant database of the International Species Information System (ISIS) lists records of 481 elephants held in 135 zoos around the world (ISIS, 2000). A fifth of these zoos have just one elephant, and almost a third (31%) have only two (although a small number of zoos keep Asian elephants with African elephants). More than 80% have small herds of no more than five animals. The largest herds listed by ISIS contain 15 elephants and are held at Emmen Zoo (the Netherlands), Carl Hagenbeck Zoo (Hamburg, Germany) and the Hawthorn Corporation (Grayslake, Illinois, U.S.A.). [A few other captive herds of equal or greater size are evidently not listed by ISIS – Ed.]

The best enrichment for elephants is a lot more elephants – of both sexes and all ages. Sadly, only a tiny proportion of the zoos that keep elephants are able to offer this. The last twenty years have produced a wealth of scientific knowledge about elephants. Surely, in recognition of their complex social behaviour, zoos should be cooperating to produce fewer but larger captive elephant herds. This would undoubtedly increase the breeding potential of the captive population, as well as providing more opportunities for individual animals to display normal social behaviour.


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Garai, M.E. (1992): Special relationships between female Asian elephants Elephas maximus in zoological gardens. Ethology 90: 197–205.

Gilbert, J. (1994): Elephant feeder balls. The Shape of Enrichment 3 (4): 3–5.

Green, C. (1993): Enriching an elephant's environment. The Shape of Enrichment 2 (1): 5–6.

Haight, J. (1993): Playing with their food – ideas for elephants. The Shape of Enrichment 2 (2): 9.

Hartnett, G. (1995): Enrich one, empower the other. The Shape of Enrichment 4 (3): 5–6.

ISIS (2000): International Species Inventory System Asian elephant database, (accessed June 2000).

Lee, P.C. (1987): Allomothering among African elephants. Animal Behaviour 35: 278–291.

Moss, C. (1988): Elephant Memories: Thirteen Years in the Life of an Elephant Family. Collins, Glasgow, U.K.

Rees, P.A. (in press): Captive breeding of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus): the importance of producing socially competent animals. In: Hosetti, B. (ed.), Current Research in Wildlife Conservation.

Rapaport, L., and Haight, J. (1987): Some observations regarding allomaternal caretaking among captive Asian elephants (Elephas maximus). Journal of Mammalogy 68 (2): 438–442.

Schmid, J. (1994): Behavioural effects of keeping circus elephants in paddocks. In: Spooner, N.G., and Whitear, J.A. (eds.), Proceedings of the Eighth U.K. Elephant Workshop, North of England Zoological Society, Chester, U.K., pp. 18–27.

Sukumar, R. (1994): Elephant Days and Nights: Ten Years with the Indian Elephant. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Wiedenmayer, C. (1998): Food hiding and enrichment in captive Asian elephants. Applied Animal Behaviour Science 56: 77–82.

[The author is currently studying the role of allomothers in the development of Asian elephant calves at Chester Zoo, U.K.]

Dr Paul Rees, School of Environment and Life Sciences, Allerton Building, University of Salford, Salford M6 6PU, U.K. (E-mail: )



Dear Sir,

I was interested, yet by no means surprised, to read about the rabbit-eating wapiti on p. 315 of the August issue of I.Z.N., as it's well-known that many ungulates seek out and eat an unexpected amount of animal-matter, of their own volition. Duikers, for example, habitually eat small mammals, such as rodents, and even swift-moving reptiles like lizards, which they kill by trampling with their hooves, while the same method of despatch was frequently observed in Regent's Park's old Antelope House, when its denizens ate mice and even the occasional rat. Most remarkable of all is a photograph in an old (1960s) issue of Freunde des Kölner Zoo depicting a kudu at Antwerp eating with evident relish one of the domestic pigeons which were regularly added to its diet!

Grazers, especially cattle and sheep, inadvertently (but seemingly of necessity) eat vast quantities of small invertebrates on their normal meadow herbage, and it used to be said that Southdown mutton's superb flavour was due to the enormous numbers of small snails eaten by the stock when grazing – it `fits', as the South Downs are highly alkaline, which also suits the dietetic requirements of these shell-bearing molluscs. In about 1948 a then popular journalist, Bernard Wicksteed, recorded his astonishment on coming upon a sheep eating, with apparent gusto, a dead trout that had somehow contrived to come its way. Recently a Whipsnade hippopotamus killed and, with some little difficulty, ate a wallaby which had chanced into her enclosure – an intrusion so common she'd previously ignored them – and, of course, it's known that in the wild this species not infrequently kills and eats small antelopes.

Yours faithfully,

C.H. Keeling,

13 Pound Place,



Surrey GU4 8HH, U.K.

Dear Sir,

Since reading Richard Reynolds's long response (I.Z.N. 47:5, pp. 276–282) to Herman Reichenbach's critical description of the older menageries, I've been mulling the matter over, trying to work out what the historical issues really are. I'm willing to basically accept Richard's point that much (but not all) of what is described as the better conditions of animals in contemporary zoos is based in marketing decisions which focus on the sort of illusions the public seems interested in, rather than on creating conditions which seem to do something for the beasts themselves. Similarly, again taking Richard's point, it doesn't do much to describe the cages of old menageries as dismal when someone like Richard (and many others, I suspect) saw little in them that was dismal.

Still, there seems to me to be an important historical problem here. For over a century, now, people have been talking a lot about something called the `judgement of history'. The expression seems to be usually employed when people are talking about some bad person or other who, it is hoped, will one day be condemned for all the bad things he or she did. There is a conundrum here, though. A great many professional historians feel justifiably uncomfortable `judging' the past. They are stuck with the problem that when we look honestly at the past, we are forced to try to imagine things the way they would have been viewed at the time. Once we take a step like that, we tend to think things like, `Under the circumstances, would I have behaved any differently?' or, in the present instance, `In 1920 would I have thought that a cage housing a lion in Barnum's menagerie was somehow miserable?'

These are tough questions. In facing them, many historians make recourse to certain things they believe are objectively bad, and the big touchstone here, of course, is Nazism. The argument in the case of Nazism is somewhat more straightforward than most, however. In that case, the historian usually says something like, even if he or she might have thought – at the time – that Nazism wasn't so bad, historical hindsight makes it absolutely clear that Adolf Hitler, the Nazi movement, and its followers were bad – that they should, therefore, be judged by history.

Now, menagerie cages. I've seen a few cages in my life, and clearly many animals in collections today have what I, for one, might easily call miserable surroundings – see, for example, some of John Wedderburn's photos at . The problem is that pictures like John's can be in their own way misleading about the quality of life of the animals; and besides, the quarters are not that different from the off-exhibit quarters of most animals in the best American zoos. Of course, what was perhaps particularly problematic about Herman Reichenbach's statement was that it lumped all menagerie contexts together – a completely understandable gesture, I believe, in the highly constrained context in which he was writing. Nevertheless, Herman is a knowledgeable, thoughtful, and careful scholar, and I think one must grant that he meant what he said – that he honestly feels that animals in the older menageries had a lesser quality of life compared to those in today's best zoos. I'm not sure I would disagree with that. Richard's point, on the other hand – that whether or not the menagerie cages were miserable (and he goes to pains to show that they were often impressive exhibits), they brought a great deal of enlightenment to a great many people – is well taken, if not exactly a contradiction of Herman's quick comment. So, where does this leave me? Somewhere between Scylla and Charybdis, I suspect.

Yours faithfully,

Nigel Rothfels, Ph.D.,

Director, Edison Initiative,

Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of History,

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee,

P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee,

Wisconsin 53201, U.S.A.

Dear Sir,

I was interested to read the well-thought-out Guest Editorial by Richard Reynolds on the traveling menagerie (I.Z.N. 47:5, pp. 276–282). The piece puts the issue in its historic context. I, too, learned about exotic animals while visiting traveling menageries. They served their purpose in their time, but those days are gone now. I do not subscribe to the sweeping generalization that all circus animals are mistreated and all traveling menageries are bad. But I would not wish to see the traveling menageries return on a large scale; on a limited basis, with fewer species, that might be O.K.

Richard is comparing the old Atlanta Zoo, certainly no major league figure then, with Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. That puts his view on a limited scope. RBBB is a very large concern with more resources than smaller operators. Once you focus on the smaller menageries, you find that in some case animals were in horrible conditions, which should not have been allowed. That is undeniable, judging from what I saw myself.

Another point. Some taxonomic groups can take the life in a traveling menagerie, while others are unfit for it, and there is a wide gray area in between. The genus Panthera seems fine, and so are most bear species; elephants, hippos and quite a few (but not all) primates will fit in. Among birds, large psittacines and certain raptors may make it. But certainly not marine mammals, e.g. Cetacea, Pinnipedia, Sirenia; the welfare of individual animals would be in jeopardy. Some hoofed stock would not fit, and although RBBB handled giraffes well, that may not have been the case with minor operators. If one is not careful, then traveling menageries easily turn into consumers of wildlife, not producers.

Richard cited the longevity records in traveling menageries, and the breeding of giraffes by RBBB, and those data make a point. However, the current generation of zoo folk, or the so-called environmentalists, would choose not to listen to all that. They would say that most rare animals did not leave progeny (which is true), and therefore that they were merely exploited. They will not see the point that the general public was given the chance to see them first-hand, that they had no other opportunity to do so. Besides, rarity is no longer in vogue; it is more trendy to talk about `conservation' and endangered species. The days of collectors are long gone, and if you talk about collecting rare species in your zoo, suddenly you'll sound like a trophy hunter. I still treasure rarity; in that sense I still belong to the old school. Meantime I'm facing a tidal wave of the young, `politically correct' and computer-hooked new generation of zoo folk, with whom I often have great difficulty sharing my views and values.

Yours faithfully,

Ken Kawata,

23 Arielle Lane,

Staten Island,

New York 10314, U.S.A.


WALKER'S MAMMALS OF THE WORLD (6th edition) by Ronald M. Nowak. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999. Two volumes, lxx + 836 and x + 1100 pp., hardback. ISBN 0–8018–5789–9. £64.50.

When the first edition of Mammals of the World was published in 1964, its senior author, Ernest P. Walker (1891–1969), intended it to be accessible to the general public as well as providing a comprehensive work of reference for professional zoologists. The extent to which he succeeded in both these aims may be judged by the fact that the book has remained in print ever since, while going through a series of revised editions which have steadily increased its scope, accuracy and size. It is appropriate that Walker's name has long been incorporated in the book's title, for the original concept was his, and the book's 1964 début was the culmination of more than 30 years' preparatory research. How much of Walker's work remains in this sixth edition could only be discovered by a meticulous comparison with the original book; really, the question isn't very important, but apparently many of the physical descriptions are still his, and it is noticeable that many of his photos from the 1964 edition are still in place.

Of course, the history of Walker's Mammals of the World (hereafter referred to as WMW), though interesting, isn't the main point. What matters is how well this latest edition stands up as a work in its own right. Speaking as a reader who is mildly addicted to `standard works of reference', I must say that I find it a very welcome addition to my library, and suspect that it will become my regular first port of call when trying to answer any mammalogical question. Every living mammal species (and some others – see below) is included, 4,809 in all. The basic unit of treatment, however, is the genus; to avoid needless repetition, individual species only have their own subsections where they are sufficiently distinctive to make separate treatment essential. Thus, for example, Bison has a single, unified account, drawing attention where necessary to the differences between the American and European animals, but the entry for Cervus has a subheading for each of the ten constituent species.

Taxonomic changes are accepted as a necessary evil by most of us (with the exception of professional taxonomists, who presumably find them a source of positive pleasure!). Here, though, the authors or editors of zoological reference books have to steer a difficult course, neither adopting new arrangements with uncritical haste nor holding out against them when they have achieved wide acceptance. At the highest level of mammalian classification, WMW follows Wilson and Reeder's 1993 division of the marsupials into seven orders (the system also used in the two latest volumes of the International Zoo Yearbook). The common-sense argument for this is that the marsupials were traditionally lumped together solely on the basis of their common means of reproduction; yet they are almost as diverse in morphological and ecological terms as the placental mammals, who also share a common reproductive method but whose division into many orders has never been questioned. On the other hand, the current tendency to treat the Pinnipedia as a branch of the carnivores is not accepted in this edition. At a lower level, my impression is that WMW is fairly conservative; for example, it recognises only four genera of Felidae, Felis, Neofelis, Panthera and Acinonyx, in contrast with the 18 now accepted by the IUCN/SSC Cat Specialist Group. It is fair to point out that these and many other taxonomic controversies are fully discussed in the text, and the reasons for WMW's position given.

Nevertheless, the sixth edition contains 76 more genus accounts than the fifth. Many of these are, of course, the result of taxonomic changes, but 21 represent animals new to science – most notably the three Indo-Chinese forest ungulates Megamuntiacus, Pseudonovibos and Pseudoryx. In addition, some of the new accounts reflect an attempt, begun in the fifth edition, to resolve earlier editions' inconsistent treatment of genera that are known only by subfossil material, but are thought to have lived in historical times. Unlike most zoological textbooks, WMW has always tried to include recently extinct mammals – with `recently' taken to mean any time within the last 5,000 years, i.e. since the beginning of human written history. These makes for some interesting inclusions, such as aurochs, blue buck, Schomburgk's deer, thylacine, Steller's sea cow, the giant lemurs of Madagascar, and the endemic monkeys, ground sloths and giant hutias of some Caribbean islands. (In a couple of these cases, Schomburgk's deer and thylacine, WMW recognises the possibility that the species may still survive.) Most astonishing of all, perhaps, is the inclusion of the woolly mammoth, which is now thought to have lingered on until perhaps 3,700 years ago on Wrangel Island, off north-eastern Siberia. Needless to say, man is thought to be responsible for the extinction of all these species.

Ernest Walker's original intention had been to provide at least one good photograph of a living representative of every genus of mammal, but despite his efforts this proved over-optimistic, and even the third (1975) edition still included nearly 400 accounts of living genera that were accompanied only by a photo of a museum specimen or dead individual, by a drawing, by an unsatisfactory photo of a live animal, or by no illustration at all. The present edition comes nearer than any of its predecessors to achieving Walker's aim, and the genera still not adequately illustrated are mostly little known, very rare, or long extinct. But the quest for completeness goes on – the preface includes an appeal from the publishers to readers who may know of photos that would improve future editions of the book. As I mentioned above, many of Walker's own photos survive in this edition. He was employed at the National Zoological Park, Washington, D.C., from 1930 to 1956, so many of the photos are of animals from that collection. But many other zoos are represented too: in a quick sampling I found the Bronx, Cleveland, East and West Berlin, Antwerp, Paris and San Diego. Actually, most of the photos in the book appear to be of captive animals, but in many cases the location is not given. It would be of enormous benefit to zoo historians if, in the seventh edition, date and place could be added to as many of the captions as possible. Also, a few of the illustrations (e.g. royal antelope, spiny dormouse) reproduce lithographs from 19th-century volumes of the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London; with these, it would be nice to have the full citation and, in particular, the name of the artist. A curious detail I can't resist mentioning is that the entry on Homo sapiens features three photos of astronauts – hardly, I would have thought, typical members of the species. (But then, who is?)

Ordinal and familial accounts precede the genus entries and give information applicable to all members of the group involved. Each genus account includes information on scientific and common names, the number and distribution of species, measurements and physical traits, habitat, locomotion, daily and seasonal activity, population dynamics, home range, social life, reproduction, and longevity. There are no distribution maps: instead, distributions are described in words – the gerenuk, for example, `is found in the arid parts of central and southern Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, and northeastern Tanzania.' This is not necessarily any more misleading than the use of maps – either method involves some degree of over-simplification. Certainly words make more economical use of space. The distribution given is usually the historical one; changes caused by human influence are covered in a later paragraph. (Not all of these refer to reductions in range; for example, country-by-country dates are given for the 20th-century spread of the raccoon dog across Europe.) Conservation receives a much higher profile than in previous editions of WMW. The book includes the classification of every mammal species and subspecies from the 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, the most recent full list available, and in many cases discusses the nature of the threats and possible remedies. Where reliable population estimates exist, these are given.

The book retains from earlier editions what I can best describe as an `old-fashioned' flavour, though I do not regard this as a particularly adverse criticism. The fact that all the photos are monochrome, for example, matters much less with mammals than it would with any other vertebrate order. Since replacing the illustrations (which appear on almost every page) with coloured ones – assuming suitable photos could be found – would probably double the cost of the book without significantly increasing its usefulness, I think the publishers were wise to resist the blandishments of colour printing. Other elements of modern page design – diagrams, tables, inset boxes etc. – are also almost entirely absent. What the reader gets for his money is clear black-and-white photos and solid blocks of text. Look at a few pages of WMW from a distance, and it could very well still be a production of the 1960s, or indeed earlier.

A closer look, of course, would soon reveal the difference. Zoological knowledge has been increasing exponentially over the past few decades. WMW's 173-page list of references, which includes more than 2,700 new citations since the fifth (1991) edition, is testimony to the vast amount of scientific literature which Ronald Nowak has had to assimilate and utilise. A book on this scale cannot attempt to be one hundred per cent up to date, but Dr Nowak has apparently consulted almost all relevant mammalogical literature through to the end of 1995. Some references are even more recent: the description of Pseudonovibos, for instance, includes two citations dated 1997.

Astonishingly, though this edition has nearly 300 pages more than the fifth edition of 1991, its U.K. price is actually a pound less. At roughly the cost of four hardback novels, these two hefty volumes – together turning the scales at over 5.5 kg – represent remarkably good value. For anyone who needs an up-to-date, comprehensive guide to every known species of mammal, Walker's Mammals of the World is an essential purchase.

Nicholas Gould

ZOO – HISTOIRE DES JARDINS ZOOLOGIQUES EN OCCIDENT (XVIe–XXe SIÈCLES) by Eric Baratay and Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier. Éditions La Découverte, Paris, 1998. 296 pp., illus., paperback. ISBN 2707128953. FF 135.00. (Translated into German by Matthias Wolf as ZOO – VON DER MENAGERIE ZUM TIERPARK. Wagenbach, Berlin, 2000. 256 pp., illus., hardback. ISBN 3803136040. DM 48.00.)

Considering their universal popularity and a history going back not merely centuries but millennia, relatively little has been written in any language on the history of zoos in general. Certainly many good books have been published on the history of individual wild-animal collections, usually to commemorate a jubilee, centennial or some other remarkable anniversary. Prominent zoo directors, including Grzimek, Heck, Hediger, Hagenbeck and Durrell, have published memorable autobiographies. But on the history of zoos as an institution, no genuinely comprehensive work has been published since Loisel's three-volume Histoire des Ménageries de l'Antiquité à Nos Jours. And `nos jours' were back in 1912! To be sure, there has been the occasional general overview, including such good if brief histories as Street's Animals in Captivity (1965) and Mullan and Marvin's Zoo Culture (1987). Hoage and Deiss edited the multi-author New Worlds, New Animals (1996) on zoos in the ]9th century, and another multi-author book on zoo history, edited by Vernon Kisling, has been announced for Christmas. It is only appropriate, however, that two French academics from Lyon University have taken up Loisel's baton to write a new, analytical history of the zoo as an institution, albeit only since the Renaissance, and only in the West. Unfortunately, their book has many more limitations as well.

As social and art historians, not naturalists or zoologists, Baratay and Hardouin-Fugier are concerned with the Big Picture: why and by whom zoos were established and why and amongst what classes they became popular; what social currents influenced their development, structure, landscapes and architecture; how economic circumstances ensured, or sometimes hampered, their survival; how evolving public opinion, majority and minority, approached keeping wild animals in captivity. As befitting an academic title, references are given to virtually every paragraph, and their sources were not limited to French, but included English-, German-, Spanish- and Italian-language literature, and an occasional archive as well. They have written what is arguably the best social history of zoos to date. Yet when a German zoo director I know well was approached by Wagenbach with a request to include Zoo in his zoo's gift-shop, he refused. Why? Reading between the lines, one – or at least I – cannot avoid the impression that the authors themselves are not really keen on zoos. But more importantly, anyone genuinely interested in zoos as zoos, not merely as the subject of an academic, sociological study, will presumably be disappointed by Baratay and Hardouin-Fugier's nonchalant approach to details.

The German edition, although the better bound and more attractively designed book (at about the same price, the equivalent of approximately £15 or US$23), gets off to a particularly bad start: the frontispiece depicts the feeding time of what's obviously an elephant seal at Hagenbeck's Tierpark, yet the caption would have us believe we're looking at a walrus. The German translation, although it reads well enough, was perhaps rather hastily completed: the translator, for example, couldn't decide whether French kings should be called by their French or German names, arbitrarily using the one form and then the other. And the French habit of giving foreign historical personalities French first names (such as Pierre instead of the correct Petrus Camper) was overlooked by Wolf On page 136 of the German edition, Antwerp Zoo's official name is left as `Jardin Zoologique', to the annoyance presumably not only of proud Flemings. The French name for crab-eating macaques is translated literally into German, instead of using the established German term Javaneraffe. And so forth and so on. But the basic weakness of the book is that Baratay and Hardouin-Fugier themselves gave little concern to getting their animals right. Britons and Americans should be surprised to learn that Jumbo, the giant pachyderm sold by London Zoo despite great public protest to the showman P.T. Barnum in 1882, was an Indian elephant. Baratay and Hardouin-Fugier write that the royal menagerie at Versailles acquired a black rhinoceros in 1770, almost a century earlier than the date any other historian of the rhinoceros would have given until now for Europe's first African rhinoceros since the ancient Romans. They go on to write that Europe's first white rhinoceros was acquired by an unnamed menagerie in the middle of the 19th century for £60 – again a century before Antwerp Zoo in 1950 acquired Paul and Chloë, generally considered the first white rhinoceroses in a European zoo (see The Rhinoceros in Captivity by L.C. Rookmaaker, 1998, pp. 164 and 251). Unfortunately, on these points the authors failed to name a source. Other facts, too, are dealt with rather sloppily. On one page 1962 is given as the year the IUDZG was founded, whereas towards the end of the book mention is made of an IUDZG conference in 1935. Hagenbeck's Tierpark is said to have had a life-sized model of a mammoth as part of its unique `prehistoric park', which should be news even to the Hagenbecks.

Zoo is clearly useless as a book of reference, but its authors certainly never meant it to be one. Versailles didn't have an African rhinoceros in 1770? OK, maybe it was an Indian rhinoceros. Or a Malayan tapir. Jumbo was an African elephant? What difference does it make? Baratay and Hardouin-Fugier are concerned with how at first royalty and the aristocracy, later bourgeois society influenced the development of zoos in Western Europe. How attitudes towards zoos compared over the decades with our perception of psychiatric asylums and prisons. The interplay between colonialism and the growth of zoos are important to them. It's the Big Picture that matters. Without knowing the authors, I dare say that they might well consider my criticism, as expressed above, to be nit-picking. So we made some mistakes – it never happens to you? Theirs is indeed a readable book, full of thoughtful insight. Yet it just is also full of errors. Unnecessary errors. The animals do matter. Books on zoos are obviously read by people only, but zoos are for both people and animals. Why not get it right? With presumably little extra effort, Baratay and Hardouin-Fugier could have produced not only a thoughtful book, but a useful one as well. To date an English-language edition has yet to be announced (or at least I came across none surfing recently through the internet). If it does get translated into English (or any other language for that matter), then hopefully by someone more knowledgeable about zoo animals than the authors and the translator of the German edition apparently are. Loisel's classic Histoire des Ménageries has, incidentally, been translated into English recently by a London-based zoo historian, although I know of no publication date. For those interested in the history of zoos who read English but no French, getting the Loisel might well have greater priority. Even if the book itself is now history.

Herman Reichenbach

TIERGARTEN SCHÖNBRUNN – VON DER MENAGERIE DES KAISERS ZU HELMUT PECHLANERS ZOO DER GLÜCKLICHEN TIERE by Gerhard Kunze. LW, Sankt Pölten, 2000. 224 pp., illus., hardback. ISBN 3–9501179–0–3. ÖS 348.00 (c. £15 or US$23).

OTTO ANTONIUS – 1885–1945 by Hellmuth Wachtel. Schönbrunner Tiergarten, Vienna, 1996. 42 pp., illus., paperback. No ISBN or ISSN number given. No price given.

When Soviet officers came to call upon Otto Antonius, the director of Vienna's Schönbrunn Zoo, in mid-April of 1945, shortly after the occupation of Austria, they had good news for him. Unlike his compromised colleagues in Berlin and Frankfurt, Antonius, an internationally respected if not exactly leftist palaeobiologist and hippologist, was to keep his job. Fearing the worst, however, and traumatized by the near-destruction of his beloved zoo by air-raids in February earlier in the year, Antonius had committed suicide only days before, on the 9th of April. More than anyone else, Antonius had saved the zoo from closure in the aftermath of the First World War, when the capital of what only four years before had been one of the great empires of the world found itself the seat of government of a tiny republic largely unwanted by its own people.

The Schönbrunn Zoo is the world's oldest by far, and will celebrate its 250th anniversary in the year 2002. (The Guinness Book of Records, at least the 1996 edition I have at home, claims that the Regent's Park menagerie in London, founded in 1826, is the world's oldest, but the German-language edition rightly gives credit to Vienna. One wonders, of course, what's in the Armenian edition.) Hellmut Wachtel's booklet, still in print albeit published over four years ago, commemorates the director of Vienna's zoo during its most trying period, from 1924 through to the war's end. In a Denkschrift in November 1918 Antonius had laid the intellectual foundation for the zoo's survival. The journalist and photographer Gerhard Kunze's new coffee-table book celebrates the director who will lead Schönbrunn Zoo into its quarter-millennial anniversary. The subtitle of his book – `From the Emperor's menagerie to Helmut Pechlaner's zoo of happy animals' – is more than mawkish, but Pechlaner certainly more than any other director since Antonius has revitalized the ancient institution and created a genuinely modern, state-of-the-art zoological garden while maintaining its beautiful, baroque core. And unlike other old zoos that have transformed time-honoured animal houses into, say, education centres or, in the case of the Paris Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, created a microscope menagerie out of the old pachyderm house of all buildings, Pechlaner (and his staff) found ways to integrate the old architecture into sensible, attractive zoological exhibits.

In his foreword to Kunze's purported history of Schönbrunn Zoo, Pechlaner himself lets us know that a real history of the institution is being prepared for publication in 2002 by a committee of historians under the leadership of Professor Mitchell Ash of Vienna University. Books by committee seldom make exciting reading, but Kunze's work can only be described at best as a foretaste of things to come. I'm surely the last person to suggest that a good history can only be written by an academic historian, and many journalists have certainly proved themselves to be good historians as well as good writers. Kunze is not one of them. Without wanting to appear facetious, I'm not sure that he is even a good photographer. Too many of his photographs in the book are both over-exposed and fuzzy – but presumably one might want to blame the printers for that. But where did the author get his information? No bibliography, not one source is mentioned in the text. The names and dates with reference to Schönbrunn Zoo itself were presumably read over if not double-checked by someone at the zoo. But a sidebar on page 47 entitled `The first zoo in the world' suggests that the game park south of Peking where Armand David discovered the species of deer named (in Europe) after him in 1865 is not only identical to the one that Marco Polo visited in the late 13th century (if indeed he was ever in China) north of Peking, but is also the same menagerie that Wu Wang is said to have established in the 12th century BC (not 2000 BC) during the early Zhou (not Xia or Hia) period – a thousand kilometres south-west of Peking. Kunze also has a fascination for the mysticism of numbers that many interested in zoos may not share. He finds great symbolism in the fact that Schönbrunn Zoo was established in 1752, whereas a predecessor was founded at Ebersdorf in 1552, and another apparently in 1452. The number 52 can of course be read as 5 + 2 = 7. Pechlaner is the 16th director of the zoo; 1 + 6 also equals 7. No wonder he's such a successful director!

Pechlaner, happy as his animals no doubt are, frankly does not deserve this book, and unless one is keen on acquiring every book on the history of a zoo, I wouldn't suggest it as a gift to anyone else. Wait for 2002. Of course, for those who read no German, many of the photographs and especially illustrations may have some charm. Ignorant of the language, one is spared mulling over a caption such as that on page 63 describing a series of photographs of animals relieving themselves. It reads `Na, so was' – roughly, `Well, I never!' The other captions are seldom more informative, but it's usually obvious what one is looking at, and names and dates, where they are mentioned, can be worked out without a knowledge of German.

Wachtel's brief biography of Antonius is meant to be read, of course, not just thumbed through. Zoo historians who cannot read German might still find useful a five-page bibliography of all of Antonius's writings. He wrote one paper in English, in 1937 for the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London. The subject was that which interested him most academically, `The geographical distribution in former times and today of the recent Equidae.' Two years later he would have become the second president of the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens. The war that would destroy his zoo and his life also laid to rest the earliest predecessor of the World Zoo Organization.

Herman Reichenbach


Return of the scimitar-horned oryx to Senegal

After months of planning and coordination between Israel's Nature and National Parks Protection Authority (NNPPA) and Senegal's National Parks Service, eight (3.5) scimitar-horned oryx from the Hai-Bar Nature Reserve in Israel's Aravah Desert were brought to Senegal on 23 February 1999 as part of an international wildlife conservation project that hopes one day to reintroduce these desert antelopes to their original habitat. The scimitar-horned oryx was once found abundantly throughout the semi-desert areas of North Africa and the Sahel, from Egypt and Sudan to Morocco and Senegal. But due to years of overhunting and habitat loss the species is now close to extinction. It is believed that it was hunted to extinction in Senegal around 1900, and that the last wild population was eradicated in Wadi Achim, Chad, in 1987. Today, only a small reintroduced population can be found in the Bou Hedma National Park in Tunisia.

Today efforts are being made worldwide to save the species, listed by IUCN as critically endangered. Fortunately, there are several captive populations and international breeding programs, such as in Hai-Bar, which have largely been responsible for saving the oryx from total extinction. Israel's involvement with the species dates back to the 1960s, when the late General Avraham Yoffee (1913–1983), the first director of the Nature Reserves Authority, decided to include several non-native desert species, such as addax, Somali wild ass and scimitar-horned oryx in the newly created Hai-Bar nature reserve. Yoffee believed that including these animals in the reserve would be a `hedge against extinction of the wild populations.' His foresight paid off – starting with a group of ten animals obtained from American, Dutch, English and Danish zoos in the 1970s, there are today some 60 of the oryxes in Israel, 20 at Hai-Bar and another 40 scattered in various zoological collections throughout the country. The Hai-Bar population is unique among the world's captive populations of the species, in that they live in an open habitat very similar to their native range, and therefore have retained most of their natural behavioral patterns. This advantage will make the transition from Israel to Senegal – two countries which share similar climatic and botanical conditions – much easier for the animals as they begin to adapt to their new surroundings.

It was no easy task transporting eight large mammals 12,000 km from southern Israel across the Mediterranean to Europe and then south to West Africa. But under the guidance of Dr Bill Clark, a wildlife law enforcement agent for the NNPPA, the animals arrived safely, although a little weary after their long journey, in Senegal. From the airport, they were trucked under police escort to their new home at the Gueumbeul Nature Reserve in northern Senegal, where they were released into a temporary 30 m ΄ 30 m enclosure. They were to spend a few weeks here before being allowed out to graze in the reserve's larger fenced-in area.

The Gueumbeul reserve, located 15 km from the city of Saint-Louis, was created in 1983 on 720 ha of classified forest. Although the reserve was originally established by the Senegalese government as a site for migrating winter birds, and is designated as a Wetland of International Importance under the Ramsar Convention, it has become an important breeding center for the mhorr gazelle. Senegal is one of a handful of countries, along with Spain, Germany, Morocco, Tunisia and the United States, that has a breeding project specifically for this rare species of gazelle – of the estimated 250 in captivity, 27 are in Senegal, the majority in the Gueumbeul Reserve and the remainder in the privately-owned Bandia Nature Reserve near Dakar.

For the next few years the Israeli-bred oryx will make their new home beside their Sahelian cousins at Gueumbeul, so that they can properly adjust to their new environment. But this is merely a transit point for a few years until they have time to adapt and reproduce. The ultimate goal of the project, says Dr Clark, is to transfer the next generation of oryx to a larger protected area in the Ferlo Reserve, and eventually to release them into their former habitat once poaching and illegal grazing are controlled. The Ferlo Reserve, located in the north-eastern part of Senegal, was set up in December 1996 on 600,000 ha of Sahelian-type ecosystems in order to preserve natural areas that were severely affected by years of drought and desertification problems, as well as to save small surviving populations of wildlife. Today, it still has small numbers of red-fronted and dorcas gazelles, jackals, wart hogs, African spurred tortoises, ostriches, patas monkeys, and many species of birds. For almost a decade the Senegalese National Parks Service has discussed the possibility of creating a new national park in the Ferlo, with assistance from the Israeli nature authorities, in order to rehabilitate the landscape, as well as to restore the natural habitat of the oryx. This project is finally being realized, offering a real possibility for a proper reintroduction of the scimitar-horned oryx, as well as several other Sahelian animals, to the area in the near future.

Mark Schulman

Zoos cooperate to salvage a wild flamingo colony

In June a jaguar raided a nesting colony of Caribbean flamingos in the Rio Lagartos reserve in Yucatan, Mexico, killing a number of adults. The rest of the flock abandoned the site, leaving an estimated 1,000 eggs just as they were about to hatch. Reserve biologists, as well as keepers from a local zoo, collected as many eggs as they could – about 400 – and began incubating them in an attempt to hatch and rear the birds. Local biologists, however, could not feed and rear unaided the hundreds of chicks that hatched. So bird keepers and biologists from Dallas Zoo, Fort Worth Zoo, Franklin Park Zoo, Sea World Orlando, Sea World California, Stone Zoo and others made their way to Rio Lagartos to help. Many other AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums also responded by sending food and other supplies.

Flamingo chicks need to be hand-fed a special liquid diet via eye-droppers every three hours around the clock. The parents would normally feed the chicks for three to four months before they were weaned. However, due to the necessity of hand-feeding such a large number of chicks, protocols were established that would allow for weaning to begin by the end of one month, with the eventual goal of releasing the birds into the wild in Rio Lagartos.

Abridged from a Zoo New England (Franklin Park Zoo and Stone Zoo) press release, 5 July 2000

Hand-reared cranes survive better

A four-year study has shown that hand-reared Mississippi sandhill cranes (Grus canadensis pulla) have higher survival rates after reintroduction than their counterparts reared by their parents. Furthermore, individuals survive better if released in a mixed flock of hand-reared and parent-reared birds than in either flocks of hand-reared birds only or flocks of parent-reared birds only. The Mississippi Sandhill Crane Reintroduction Program started releasing birds in 1981 when the population was estimated to be between 25 and 60 birds. Survival rate has been high, with c. 80% of released birds surviving their first year. The population is now estimated to number c. 130 birds.

Summarized in Oryx 34 (3), 166, from D. Ellis et al. in Condor No. 102 (2000), pp. 104–112.



Extracts from the Annual Review 1999

The year began with the excitement of the birth of three Livingstone's fruit bats, the first successful breeding in mainland U.K. Other significant mammal births included four sand cats, a black howler monkey, a ground cuscus, red panda twins, a saki monkey, two South American fur seals (bringing the number of animals in our group up to eight), and our first baby Malagasy giant jumping rat.

The most important mammal arrival of the year was a female okapi from Antwerp Zoo which has come to join our male. Other important arrivals were two black lion tamarins, another giant jumping rat and two Goeldi's monkeys.

The most significant event on the bird section in 1999 was the long-awaited opening of Seal and Penguin Coasts, a world-class exhibit both for the public and the birds. Early in the year we were busy receiving new birds for the exhibit – African penguins from Amsterdam, Inca terns from New York and moorhens and common eiders from nearer to home. Sadly, in late summer, as the result of an attack of avian malaria, several penguins were lost. We are taking every step possible to avoid this happening again, and have been heartened by the positive response from visitors and scientists wishing to help.

An important breeding success was the rearing of two hooded pittas (Pitta sordida); as far as we know, this is the first second-generation breeding anywhere in the world for this species. We have continued to participate in various captive breeding programmes, and have successfully bred a Victoria crowned pigeon, Palawan peacock pheasants, Nicobar pigeons, bleeding heart pigeons (two species), and Africa's rarest parrot, the black-cheeked lovebird (Agapornis nigrigenis).

Our Egyptian tortoises (Testudo kleinmanni) bred for the first time – seven young were hatched, with more on the way for 2000. This extremely vulnerable species, the smallest terrestrial tortoise in the northern hemisphere, is thought to be extinct in Egypt due to habitat loss and over-collection for the pet trade. These rare tortoises are still collected from Libya and sold openly in the markets of Cairo, despite being protected under Egyptian law. Our group were part of a customs seizure and have been at the zoo since 1996.

A re-examination of giant tortoises in zoos all over the world revealed that our animal, which we had previously thought was Aldabran, belongs to one of the Seychelles species, Dipsochelys hololissa, which until recently was assumed to be extinct. [For the background to this story, see I.Z.N. 45:1, pp. 4–10 – Ed.]

It was an encouraging year with many successes in our invertebrate house, Bug World. A complete renovation of the coral reef display, including better lighting and filtration, was carried out and a number of new and impressive corals have been introduced and are flourishing. We have also improved the water quality of the moon jellyfish display and they have responded well. We are involved in conservation work with several native species, including tadpole shrimp, barberry carpet moth, large marsh grasshopper, New Forest cicada and Kerry spotted slug. In the summer we released barberry carpet moths back into the wild at a site in Lincolnshire. We have been working with others since 1995 in a bid to re-establish this highly endangered insect. In a single generation, the moths were well established at their new site and had increased their range quite significantly.

Our conservation programmes for non-native invertebrate species are also continuing to do well; for example, all our eight species of Partula snail have healthy, growing colonies, with a far better new-born survival rate than in previous years. We are also involved in a Sri Lankan tiger spider programme.

The zoo's overseas conservation programme continued with support for projects in Cameroon, the Philippines, the Comoro Islands, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Pacific islands. The rescue centre at Yaounde Zoo in Cameroon now has six gorillas and 16 chimpanzees among a growing number of `bushmeat' orphans, being cared for in excellent facilities. In the Philippines our protection of the native forests on the island of Cebu continues, and the captive-breeding centre on Negros is now awaiting founder stock of the endangered Negros bleeding-heart dove to go into the enclosures we have funded.

Landscaping and planting has taken up a large amount of work during the year. The main area around the Education Centre was planted with birch trees, used to give light shade over the perennial ground-cover plants, and an area in front of the building was used to demonstrate a plant `time line'. This starts with ancient plants such as horsetails, ferns and tree ferns, and gradually introduces cycads and conifers, ending with examples of our modern flora. Seal and Penguin Coasts gave us the opportunity to grow some exciting plants. A patch of Lundy cabbage (Rhynchosinapis wrightii), a rare plant endemic to Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel, was established inside the enclosure. The whole area outside the turf walls was planted with a patch of banana Musa basjoo plus attractive grasses, mixed with Osteospermum and Canna for colour. Our scientific work in botany also progressed. The national collection of Caryopteris, housed at the zoo, received some notable additions including two pink species new to the collection. We are also developing a stock of ginger lilies (Hedychium spp.) with the aim of establishing a national collection in 2000.

Fodder production at the Hollywood Tower Estate is an important part of the work of the horticultural department. Organic principles are followed and production is targeted to specific animal keepers' requests.


Extracts from the 1999 Annual Report

Biological programs

There were several reproductive highlights in the Bird Division in 1999. One of these was a result of continued research on assisted reproductive techniques in cinereous vultures (Aegypius monachus). Zoo staff artificially incubated two eggs furnished by Riverside Zoo, Scottsbluff, Nebraska. The first was infertile, but a second egg laid several weeks later proved to be fertile. A healthy chick hatched in May and was returned to its parents a few days after hatching. Its parents accepted the chick initially, but shortly thereafter the female was removed due to overt aggression towards the chick. The lone male did a wonderful job caring for the chick, who developed normally and continued to thrive. Another noteworthy success was the hand-rearing of a young Chilean flamingo hatched in an incubator. The chick, named Inigo, was initially fed a fish and krill gruel `milk shake'. He developed quickly and was weaned in 38 days. During that time, he was gradually introduced to the adult flock, and by late 1999 he had adapted well to his new partners.

Other bird hatchings included: 2 black-footed penguin, 3 Temminck's tragopan, 4 smew, 2 sunbittern, 1 red-wattled lapwing, 3 blue-crowned motmot, 2 Lady Ross's turaco, 1 yellow-throated laughing thrush, 1 shama thrush, 2 blue dacnis and 1 violaceous euphonia.

The grand opening of the Dragons of Komodo exhibit took place on 10 November. In addition to the Komodo dragons, five other species of insular reptiles are displayed in this exhibit, among them Boelen's pythons, Sri Lankan star tortoises, Cuban ground iguanas and radiated tortoises. Several new and rare species came to the zoo, but the largest single shipment was a collection of 169 frogs of 40 species from Minnesota State Zoo. Several animals were donated to the zoo from confiscations of illegal shipments, including radiated tortoises from Madagascar, a young Boelen's python and some Fly River turtles, both from New Guinea, and eight Sri Lankan star tortoises.

The most significant mammal transfer this year involved an animal owned by Denver but exhibited at Reid Park Zoo in Tucson, Arizona. A female reticulated giraffe was transported from the United States to Japan. This animal was already very well genetically represented in the U.S.A., but she was a welcome addition to the giraffe bloodlines in Japan. Mammal births included 2 red kangaroo, 2 polar bear, 1 Pallas's cat, 2 wart hog, 1 hippopotamus, 1 Arabian camel, 1 Bactrian camel, 2 Cape buffalo, 3 nyala, 3 lesser kudu, 3 waterbuck, 4 Geoffroy's tufted-eared marmosets, 3 emperor tamarin, 6 cotton-top tamarin, 3 golden lion tamarin, 1 hooded capuchin, 4 squirrel monkey, 2 white-faced saki and 1 red-capped mangabey.

Animal Health Department

Not to be outdone by Churchill in Canada, Denver Zoo is becoming known as the polar bear capital of the world. In 1998 we were proud to announce the birth of twins born to Olaf and Ulu; and on 15 November 1999 we had another set of twins, Boris and Natasha, born to Voda and sired by Kavek. This is a particularly special event for us, as these cubs are the great-grand cubs of our former polar bear pair, Sophia and Frank. They produced a female cub in the 1970s who was sent to Buffalo Zoo; that female raised a male cub, Kavek, and he came to Denver in 1985 as part of the founder group for our Northern Shores exhibit. Twice during 1999 we immobilized Ulu for blood and milk samples as part of a long-term vitamin D study. Our preliminary results indicate that polar bear mothers pass significant amounts of vitamin D in their milk to the rapidly growing cubs. In many species milk has been found to be a poor source for vitamin D, so this is an intriguing finding. We hope to include Voda and her new cubs in our study next year.

One morning in June the hooded capuchins (Cebus apella cay) were seen attacking a free-ranging big brown bat (Epitesicus fuscus) on Monkey Island. The bat was captured in a net and taken to the Colorado Department of Health's rabies diagnostics laboratory. Unfortunately, it tested positive for rabies. Recommendations from the Department and the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, Georgia, were that the safest thing to do would be to euthanize the animals. Not wanting to destroy 15 monkeys, we asked for an alternative and were told we could try to put them through the human rabies treatment program, so we did. This procedure consisted of capturing them six times for a single injection of human rabies immunoglobin (at a cost of $720.00) and five rabies vaccinations. We hope to produce a paper in the future on our ordeal, because this is bound to happen again at another zoo.

Along with several other zoos, we received two pairs of wild-caught Pallas's cats in 1996. There has been no problem in breeding these small cats, but kitten mortality has been extremely high. The cause is a microscopic parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. What makes this so unusual is that the domestic cat (and presumably exotic cats) are the definitive host for this parasite. Normally cats infected with toxoplasmosis don't demonstrate any clinical signs of the disease. The exceptions are kittens that become infected through the placenta during gestation. This appears to be what is happening with our Pallas's kittens, and the same problem is occurring in the other institutions which have founder Pallas's cats from the same import group. We have closely followed this problem and hope to submit a manuscript in the future on our findings. We are also participating in a project with Cincinnati Zoo to evaluate what is going on immunologically in the queens during pregnancy. These efforts should help in further elucidating this disease that is hampering efforts to reproduce these increasingly rare small cats in captivity.

In September our large female anaconda, Livia, was noted to have a problem – her tail was swollen and there was an abrasion on the tip. Once the swelling began to resolve we were able to determine that the abrasion to the tail tip had caused the bone to be exposed. Surgery was necessary, and approximately thirteen inches of the tail was removed. The problem may have originated as a result of her normal resting habit, with her head and the front half of her body out of the water and her back end and tail hanging down into it; this positioning may have led to blood pooling in the vessels of the tail, slowly damaging them and causing the swelling. Researchers have found that aquatic and semi-aquatic snakes, such as anacondas, utilize the pressure of the water in which they live to aid in pumping blood back to the heart. When they are removed from water and positioned vertically, the heart has difficulty pumping blood back from the tail. To avoid repeating this problem, Livia has been moved to another exhibit which has minimal opportunities for her to hang with her tail down to the bottom of the pool while the rest of her is out of the water. She appears to have made a full recovery and the problem has not recurred.

Conservation and research

During 1999, the zoo was involved in 67 field conservation and research projects in 20 countries and eight states of the U.S.A. Our projects focus primarily on island and arid ecological systems, and species that have impacts over large geographic and temporal scales, such as keystone or indicator species. Examples of keystone species with which we are active include large carnivores and prairie dogs. Indicator species are species, such as amphibians, that are sensitive to environmental change and can therefore be important early-warning systems for declining ecosystem health. Geographically, several focal regions are evident, including the western U.S.A., Mexico, the Caribbean, and Mongolia and north-central China. These regions largely reflect the expertise and interests of zoo staff. We always prefer to support projects that contribute to career development of young, local conservationists.

Dr Richard Reading continued his involvement in a number of different conservation activities in Mongolia. Rich also worked on prairie dog conservation and consulted on European mink conservation in Estonia and lynx reintroduction efforts in Colorado. Dr Brian Miller continued his research on pumas and jaguars in the dry tropical forests of Jalisco, Mexico, and started a research project to monitor the effect of wolf colonization on ecological processes in the Grand Teton National Park. Other projects in which zoo staff participated included West Indian rock iguana and Malagasy fish conservation efforts, and research on the ecology of Humboldt penguins in Chile. [A list of all Denver Zoological Foundation field conservation projects, 1997–1999, is published in the zoo's full Annual Report – Ed.]


Extracts from the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland's Annual Report 1999

Animal management and welfare

The zoo's Animal Collection Plan is currently being developed; it will concentrate on biogeographical areas and the habitats of the species, rather than species in isolation. The new arrangement is reflected in the grouping of species in this report.

We have opened a new set of enclosures, named the `Magic Forest', for our small South American callitrichids. The Magic Forest is devoted to rainforest primates from the neotropical region. The Geoffroy's and pygmy marmosets, cotton-top and emperor tamarins and Goeldi's monkeys moved in when it opened in March, and they were joined by golden-headed lion tamarins from Lisbon and Twycross Zoos later in the year; the newcomers have settled in well and the adult pair have been mating. The free-ranging group of Geoffroy's marmosets was transferred to the Welsh Mountain Zoo at Colwyn Bay.

The strawberry poison-arrow frogs

have moved into their newly-designed enclosure, which recreates the atmosphere of their natural rainforest habitat. This appears to have been very stimulating and effective, as they have been breeding very well since moving in. Surplus Trinidad poison-arrow frogs have gone to the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, and blue poison-arrow frogs to Copenhagen Zoo.

A female giraffe was born to the adult female, Jade, which provided a good learning experience for her elder daughter, Savannah, who witnessed the birth. Savannah was later transferred on loan to Woburn Safari Park, to provide company for a very depressed female giraffe and to avoid the possibility of her mating prematurely with our male. The loan has been very successful and the Woburn female has improved remarkably in health.

Two of our three male Grevy's zebras isolated the third, and we learnt that this is a problem shared by other collections holding trios. As a result, a fourth male was brought in from Banham Zoo to allow two couples to form, to balance each other. However, the problem has not been resolved, and we await the arrival of two females and the departure of three stallions to resolve the situation.

The American white pelican continues to do well in the penguin pool. He became a little over-excited at breeding time and had to be removed until the season was over, to avoid the penguins crushing their own eggs in reaction. The penguins have experienced other problems this year, with some swallowing sticks, some of which were offered by the public. Keepers had some difficulty in trying to control the enthusiasm of the visitors at the daily `penguin parade' – the crush of people frightens the penguins and prevents the keepers from guarding their welfare, so we are examining ways of resolving this for next year. [During summer 2000 the penguin parade had to be cancelled when the birds refused to leave their enclosure, and the zoo has now suspended this 50-year-old tradition until next spring. The reason for the birds' reluctance is unknown, but it may be linked to last year's outbreak of avian malaria and the preventive treatment given for it. – Ed.] The penguins had their share of the usual health problems of bumblefoot, aspergillosis, and heart and kidney troubles, but this year they had the new problem of avian malaria. Thankfully, the keepers spotted something amiss very early, and the vet soon discovered that avian malaria was the cause. The entire colony was treated for the disease and we have been very successful in saving the population.

Conservation and research

We have produced a Conservation Research Prospectus 2000 to give a more detailed picture of our activities within conservation research; a copy of the prospectus can be obtained from the Animal Department (telephone 0131–314–0315). There follow notes on a few of the projects, both in and ex situ, taking place during the year.

Sugoto Roy: `Assessing and minimising the impact of the introduced small Indian mongoose on the native fauna of Mauritius.' The fieldwork part of this project is now completed and an interim report has been received. The project aims at gathering information on the ecology of the mongoose on Mauritius to determine its impact on native species and make its management more effective. A total of 14 mongooses were radiotracked to determine home-range size and habitat preferences. A mark-recapture survey was undertaken to investigate the mongoose density in various habitats. Based on these data a more general census technique was developed and implemented, and an initial population estimate amounted to around 50,000 animals. The information will be compiled into a plan aimed at improving management of mongooses over larger areas, thus safeguarding the remaining endemic species on Mauritius.

Snub-nosed Monkey Research and Conservation Project, University of Cambridge. The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus bieti) is one of the rarest and most endangered primates of the Old World. There are only about 1,500 individuals remaining in 13 distinct groups living solely in the temperate Himalayas of south-western China. However, conservation action has been limited by poor understanding of the monkeys' ecology and distribution. This project combined three different areas of study, concentrating on the group of monkeys living in the forest around Nanren village: monkey habitat use and population demographics; forest distribution and history around the Nanren valley; and a Participatory Rural Appraisal of the resource use, interaction with the environment and development aspirations of the residents of Nanren village. The fieldwork took place in July–August 1999, and the final report, including results and recommendations, is expected shortly.

Bia Forest '99, Western Ghana, University of Aberdeen Expedition. This expedition, which took place during the summer of 1999, covered a number of topics, including an assessment of the status of primate species in the Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve. The survey was conducted using calls and sightings. Species detected were olive colobus, Campbell's mona monkey, spot-nosed monkey, black-and-white colobus, white-naped mangabey and western chimpanzee. The presence of red colobus and diana monkeys was reported by hunters but not detected during the survey. The density of three species of Ceratogymna hornbills and their role as primary seed dispersers was surveyed in Bia National Park and Krokosua Hills Forest Reserve. Densities were assessed through point counts, and feeding trees were identified where possible. Seed dispersal by African forest elephants was surveyed in Bia National Park and Bia Resource Reserve. The forest elephant populations were censused and dung was collected to identify seeds. A comparison of fecundity and dispersal ability of the timber tree Entandrophragma utile between natural forest and logged forest was made. The regeneration of five timber tree species as a comparison between undisturbed forest and forest that was logged 15 years ago was also investigated. The final project report is expected shortly.

L. Aitchison and A. Regier (University of Edinburgh): `Structure and function of vocalisations of captive strawberry poison frogs (Dendrobates pumilio)'. Two captive populations housed separately at Edinburgh Zoo were studied. The function of vocalisations was examined through behavioural observations, with attention being paid to vocal behaviour relating to territoriality and to courtship. The structure of vocalisations was examined by use of sound recording techniques, playback experiments and spectrographic analysis. Calls were described according to type and behavioural context. Three main types of vocalisations were revealed and contexts observed related to territoriality and mate attraction. Differences between populations were found in the functions of calls and in the extent to which resident males exhibited territorial behaviour. All males were found to show some degree of site specificity, and response to playbacks differed between low- and high-density populations.

Dr Peter Surai (Scottish Agricultural College) Egg Project. The hatchability of eggs and the subsequent chick survival was investigated in relationship with diet. A number of bird and reptile species were included in the study, supplied by surplus eggs. The vitamin E and carotenoid content of the yolk relates to antioxidant levels and viability of the embryo. Most work to date has been carried out on domestic fowl, which bears little information for non-domestic species, and this is a very important step in providing correct diets for endangered species of birds and reptiles.

J. Nicholson (University of Edinburgh): `Nutrition in captive Persian leopards.' Nutrient supply was investigated in two captive male Persian leopards housed at Edinburgh Zoo. They weighed approximately 60 kg and 55 kg and were aged 8 years 4 months and 13 years 8 months respectively. Their nutrient maintenance requirements were calculated and found to be 19.6 MJ/d and 18.4 MJ/d respectively for energy and for protein, 140 g/kg of diet fed for both animals. The leopards were fed on a diet of mainly horsemeat on the bone with mineral supplements. It was found that the energy supply to the animals exceeded their requirements, over a four-day period, by around 100%, whilst the protein supply was greatly in excess of requirements at 4 times and nearly 4.5 times respectively. Given the lower activity level and daily food supply of captive animals, such over-provisioning, especially of protein, could pose long-term health risks to the animals, including renal failure, heat stress and water deficiency. It is therefore important to assess the daily requirements of the animals and try to balance the provision of food to meet those requirements.

L. Slicher (University of Edinburgh): `The nutrition of captive gorillas.' In this laboratory-based study, the nutrient content and digestibility of the gorilla diet at Edinburgh Zoo was evaluated. The macronutrient profile of the diet fed was as follows: 46% fibre, 33% carbohydrate, 10% protein and 3% lipid. The macronutrient composition of the wild diet has been estimated at: 74% fibre, 10% carbohydrate, 10% protein and 1% lipid. Analysis showed that energy requirements are being exceeded and the diet is too low in fibre. It was recommended to reduce the energy content (quality), maintaining the quantity and increasing the processing time of the diet, as this is likely to improve the overall nutritional state of the animals. Furthermore, the increased processing time would have a positive influence on the activity budget of the gorillas.

Highland Wildlife Park

An exciting new development was the introduction of an audio tape, loaned out to all visitors, which interprets the main reserve. It was designed to overcome the challenges of interpretation in a large open space, where the animals are free to roam at will. Initial feedback from our visitors was very positive, and we then commissioned a much more detailed assessment, undertaken by two Dutch students, who did a much more in-depth survey. As a result of our research, we were able to amend some of the information and directions on the final production tape, and now have an audio interpretation of the main reserve which is universally admired.

In the Wolf Territory, the dominant female wolf gave birth to five cubs. Later in the summer, a drama developed at feeding time, when one of the adult wolves grabbed a rabbit carcass and swung around to retreat and eat it at his leisure, accidentally hitting the rabbit's head against the head of one of the cubs. The cub dropped, as if pole-axed, in front of a large crowd of worried visitors. Very quickly, two wardens were able to go in to check the unconscious cub, which was removed for a quick examination by our vet. The cub regained consciousness, was pronounced fit, and returned to the enclosure. It remained subdued all day, but was protected by the beta male and showed no signs of the incident by the following day.

The European bison cow, Gwen, made history for the park as she gave birth to a female calf in the year following the birth of her previous calf. Normally this species gives birth only every second or third year.

Our capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus) and black grouse (Tetrao tetrix) did well again this year, with 21 capercaillie and 13 black grouse being reared successfully. For the first time, there were no curlew nesting in the main reserve, but lapwing and oystercatcher had reasonable breeding success. Particularly successful were the snipe (G. gallinago), who enjoyed good breeding numbers in all the wetter areas.


Extracts from the Annual Report 1999


Notable births this year included an eastern black-and-white colobus which was the 75th born at Twycross and a siamang which was the 30th born here, though unfortunately neither survived. In September our 50th black howler was born – a European record – and is being hand-reared. Bornean orang-utan Theodora gave birth to a female baby, and with expert help and patience from senior keepers, mother and baby bonded within a few days and are continuing to do well. This baby is third-generation Twycross-bred. A second orang baby was born in December to Gigit, but she rejected it and it is now being hand-reared. Other births include black spider monkey, crowned guenon, dusky and silvered leaf monkeys, black-tailed and white-fronted marmosets, emperor tamarin, red-handed tamarin, capybara, mara, alpaca and dhole. Losses included a 23-year-old pileated gibbon, a 17-year-old lar gibbon, and four of our bush dogs; a post mortem revealed that the dogs' deaths were due to a viral infection.

We received a pair of brush-tailed rock wallabies from Blackpool Zoo (the first at Twycross), a male red-bellied lemur from Banham, a pair of bush dogs from Mulhouse and Prague, a male owl-faced monkey from San Francisco, and a female aardwolf from Frankfurt (again a new species at Twycross). Among animals leaving the collection were two female variegated spider monkeys (Ateles belzebuth hybridus) to La Vallée des Singes, a pair of black howler monkeys to Stuttgart, two male babirusa to Budapest and four sand cats to Al-Wabra Wildlife Preservation Trust, Qatar, where our original pair came from. Mambie, our eight-year-old male gorilla, was transferred to Paignton Zoo to join an all-male group.


In the parrot house a first-time breeding was achieved with our red-fronted macaws, a pair on loan from Chester Zoo. A chick was hatched from the only fertile egg (a total of eight were laid in two clutches) and was successfully hand-reared. The thick-billed parrots laid three fertile eggs; one hatched under the parents but was removed at two days old as the pair have neglected their young in the past, while the other two hatched in an incubator. Two of the young were lost at an early age due to a bacterial infection, but the third was successfully reared.

After some changes had been made to our pink pigeon collection following studbook recommendations, we were rewarded with our first-ever fertile egg for this species. Unfortunately this was discovered broken on the floor of the house in the early stages of development, but we have high hopes for next year.

We were very surprised at our great grey owl laying eggs as she is only one year old; although the eggs were infertile she did incubate them, which hopefully was good practice for the year 2000. The demoiselle cranes again reared a single youngster, and the white-naped cranes laid two clutches of infertile eggs. Other birds that were reared included Humboldt penguin, white-cheeked turaco, peach-faced lovebird and waldrapp ibis.

Veterinary report

A major problem this year was severe haemorrhagic diarrhoea in the bush dogs, resulting in the loss of four of the younger animals. Post-mortem and laboratory results were inconclusive, with laboratory examination for parvovirus and other enteric pathogens proving negative. There was a suspicion that it might have been leptospirosis, but again this could not be confirmed, even with the resources of Glasgow Veterinary College. As the group had not been vaccinated they could have been susceptible to something brought into the paddock by a fox. Vaccination has been instituted for the replacement animals; this was not undertaken earlier because of concern over using live vaccine in a non-target species, as dead vaccine was no longer available for anything but leptospirosis.

During September and October an enteric infection passed through the gibbon house causing much concern and requiring the treatment of nearly all the animals at one time or another. No obvious cause was cultured or found except the possibility of autumn leaves being eaten, but this seemed unlikely to produce the apparent infectiveness. Fortunately most responded quickly to treatment.


Adelaide Zoo, South Australia

The zoo's Supervisor of Birds, Phil Digney, recently took six months leave of absence from his normal duties to coordinate a programme on the Seychelles that, if successful, may help save the Seychelles magpie robin (Copsychus sechellarum) from extinction. The project, financed and managed by BirdLife International, essentially requires the capture of all the known Seychelles robins, estimated at 42 birds, from Frigate Island, and their transfer into on-site temporary aviaries. The animals are then to be managed in this captive situation for a period of several months.

The main threat to the species' survival is the rat, which was introduced to the island when a holiday resort was established there in 1994. These rats have bred in their hundreds and predate on both eggs and nestlings. While the total population of robins is being maintained in the aviaries, an attempt will be made to completely eradicate the rats from the island using a heavy baiting programme. Phil's role will include the re-release and monitoring of the birds after the rat eradication, and a translocation of up to five or six birds to another `safe' island. He will also undertake a supervisory role to train BirdLife International staff in captive management techniques.

An additional factor will be the capture and transfer to temporary pens of a colony of Aldabra giant tortoises, as a precautionary measure during the rat eradication programme. The zoo's Senior Veterinarian, Dr David Schultz, accompanied Phil over a two-week period to assist with the monitoring and health checks of all captured birds.

Mark Craig, Manager, Life Sciences, in Zoo Times Vol. 17, No. 2 (June 2000)

Antwerp Zoo, Belgium

The zoo received common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis) eggs from the Nausicaa Centre National de la Mer, Boulogne, France, in June 1999. The eggs, collected in situ, were, or were destined to be, stranded on the beach. This method of collection has several advantages: it is not a drain on wild populations, young reared from the egg in captivity adapt much better to an aquarium than do cuttlefish that are further developed when brought into captivity, and the eggs are easily transported. The greatest challenge is to find enough suitable live food to feed the voracious hatchlings. Artemia spp. were first fed, but were rather small, so as soon as Mysis spp. became available these were fed. As the cuttlefish grew they were also given shrimps and later small crabs. Cuttlefish hunt by hovering in the water; when their prey venture within striking distance two long tentacles dart out to capture them – a mission accomplished in three hundredths of a second. Antwerp Zoo has now succeeded in culturing large quantities of guppies and Mysis spp., the foods preferred for rearing cuttlefish, in the hope that more eggs can be collected next spring.

English summary of article in Dutch by Wilfried van der Elst, published in De Harpij Vol. 19, No. 3 (2000), pp. 6–7.

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach, California, U.S.A.

The first male weedy sea dragon (Phyllopteryx taeniolatus) to have successfully received a female's fertilized eggs within a U.S. aquarium died recently here. The fish, named `Mr Mom', survived five weeks of `pregnancy' – almost reaching full term – with approximately 100 eggs that had been incubating on his brood patch, located on the ventral portion of his tail. About two dozen hatched prematurely (denoted by the yolk-like egg sac that remains attached to the babies), out of which only a few have survived. The aquarium is doing everything possible to keep these babies alive, but chances for their survival are, at best, slim. For this reason, the hatchlings are not on public display, and are being closely supervised in their own behind-the-scenes habitat. Aquarium staff tried their best to promote healthy hatching – from regulating the sea dragon tank to match nature's seasonal and daily temperature and lighting changes, to monitoring the male's eating, and even separating him from the other sea dragons and taking him off public display. Few other aquariums have had weedy sea dragon eggs produced, so the fact that Mr Mom made it this far is encouraging for naturalists and aquariums worldwide.

AZA Communiqué (July 2000)

Blackpool Zoo, U.K.

On 31 July 2000 the zoo's `Gorilla Mountain' was officially opened. This one-acre (0.4 ha) addition to the already existing gorilla complex gives the current group of 1.2 gorillas a naturalistic vegetated island to utilize. The island was formerly used for Turkmenian markhor (Capra falconeri heptneri) and Alpine chamois (Rupicapra r. rupicapra). After their removal the island was heavily planted with several species of trees and bushes, and left to establish itself for six years before being used for the gorillas.

The island is located in one of the three lakes in the centre of the zoo, adjacent to the gorillas' existing grassed outside enclosure, and is reached via a newly constructed causeway. There is a manually operated slide system between the two outside enclosures, which will enable us to continue to give the gorillas winter access to their original outside enclosure even if the lake around the island freezes.

The lake has a maximum depth of approximately 1.5 metres and the width varies from five to 20 metres. The lake bottom slopes gently down from the island side and there is a three-strand electric fence running all the way around the perimeter of the island and causeway, which continues over and around the dividing wall between the two outside enclosures. The island has been made to look as natural as possible, with features such as small streams, large sandstone boulders and plenty of vegetation. The focal point is formed by two large waterfalls cascading over an eight-metre-high rock face on one side of the island. On the side adjacent to the waterfalls there is a purpose-built large climbing structure made from tree trunks and furnished with rope hammocks and suspended swinging ropes.

On the public side two African-style large viewing huts have been erected. As well as providing shelter and good viewing opportunities to the island, these also house the interpretative information boards; as well as individual information about the animals within the enclosure, they contain information on African primates in general and the current problems facing them in the wild.

So far the island has been well utilized by all three gorillas. The male, Jitu, made full use of it from day one, but the two females, who have been here since 1972, took several weeks before they were confident enough to fully explore the island.

All the activity in the outside enclosures can now be monitored by the ape keeping staff from the kitchen/service area via closed-circuit television cameras. So far the island has proved a very interesting addition to the gorilla complex from both the animals' and the public's point of view. It is further hoped that this spacious naturalistic accommodation will enable us to add to our existing gorilla group.

Darren Webster, Head Keeper

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, Ohio, U.S.A.

The zoo's Center for Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) announces the birth on August 16 of the world's first ocelot kitten produced by embryo transfer and the first endangered cat produced by transfer of frozen-thawed embryos. The success of this procedure is the culmination of a five-year project, under the direction of Dr Bill Swanson, head of CREW's Animal Conservation Division and funded by the National Institutes of Health, to improve the efficiency of embryo transfer for use in domestic and endangered non-domestic cats.

Alicia, one of the zoo's female ocelots, was the recipient of the frozen-thawed ocelot embryos. These embryos had been created via in vitro fertilization using sperm and oocytes from two other Cincinnati Zoo ocelots. The embryos were frozen on 23 July 1998 and stored in a liquid nitrogen tank at CREW. After thawing, three embryos were transferred on 25 May 2000 into Alicia's left oviduct by means of a laparoscopic technique. Once pregnancy was confirmed, a pregnancy watch was conducted by volunteer observers to document and record the birth. This female has had two previous natural pregnancies and has proven to be an attentive mother.

Dr Swanson has conducted systematic studies over the past five years to develop more efficient embryo cryopreservation and synchronization protocols for embryo transfer in domestic cats. The success with this technology in domestic cats suggested that these same methods might be suitable for application to ocelots. This ocelot pregnancy resulted from CREW's first actual embryo transfer procedure with ocelots. The procedure itself (i.e. using fecal hormone analysis to determine estrus, inducing ovulation during a natural cycle and then transferring embryos laparoscopically into the oviduct) represents a totally novel approach for embryo transfer in cats. The subsequent birth of an ocelot kitten following the transfer of frozen-thawed embryos validates this approach.

Importantly, this technology has immediate application to ongoing ocelot conservation efforts. The ocelot is one of five small cat species – along with fishing cat, Pallas's cat, sand cat and black-footed cat – considered as `priority species' for conservation by American zoos. (Cincinnati has all these species except the black-footed cat.) Ocelots are listed on both the U.S. Endangered Species list and Appendix I of CITES, and are considered threatened with extinction throughout their range.

Ocelot populations in North American zoos are managed by the AZA's Ocelot SSP. But almost all ocelots in North American zoos are considered generic (i.e. mixtures of different subspecies) and not representative of any wild population, so one goal of the SSP is to re-establish zoo populations with ocelots of a defined subspecies. After careful consideration, the Brazilian ocelot (Leopardus pardalis mitis) was selected as the most appropriate subspecies. During the past two years, CREW scientists have been working in collaboration with colleagues in southern Brazil to produce and freeze Brazilian ocelot embryos. To date, 25 embryos have been frozen and are currently stored in liquid nitrogen tanks in Brazil. In the next four months, some of these embryos will be imported into the U.S. for additional embryo transfer procedures at Cincinnati Zoo. Any resulting offspring will be of the Brazilian subspecies and will represent new founder animals for the North American zoo population.

In the near term, this approach will augment continuing efforts to re-establish ocelot populations by the more traditional route – the importation of living, captive-born ocelots from Brazilian zoos. In the long term, this technology will allow us to move genetic material more easily among isolated ocelot populations and help maintain adequate genetic variation. This research is one component of a larger collaborative project, termed the Brazilian Ocelot Consortium, under development by the AZA, the Ocelot SSP and Brazilian colleagues to guarantee a future for endangered ocelots in North America and Brazil.

Cincinnati Zoo press release

Danmarks Akvarium, Charlottenlund, Denmark

In 1999 a special exhibition, `Coral', opened on 21 April, the aquarium's 60th anniversary. of Danmarks Akvarium. A booklet about corals, coral reefs and research on corals was published in association with the exhibition. Many new specimens were bought, both to supplement the existing stock and to populate the coral tanks. The enlarged tank in the landscape aquarium was enriched with more than 800 small damsel fish; they share the tank with the large grouper, the sea turtles and the reef sharks, who seem to enjoy their more spacious quarters.

A large Canadian lobster was donated for the anniversary – it weighs approximately 7.5 kg and is estimated to be 60 years old. The sea horses, whose delicate constitutions have been the cause of great concern, have now received their own closed water system with both biological and mechanical filtering, ozone and UV-light. They now seem to be thriving and have bred for the first time in a decade. Another tank was redecorated to simulate a bank of an African river complete with a large repertoire of typical African fishes.

The animal that aroused most attention during 1999 was unquestionably the little loggerhead turtle found sick and undernourished on the Danish west coast. After medical treatment for pneumonia and care at the aquarium, the turtle made a fast recovery and is now thriving.

A 350-page book by Arne Schiøtz, Treefrogs of Africa, was published in 1999 by Edition Chimaira. Most of the research for this book was conducted in the period 1964–1996, when the author was director of Danmarks Akvarium.

Abridged from the English summary of the Annual Report 1999

Endangered Species Breeding Unit, Martin Mere, Lancashire, U.K.

A Meritorious Breeding Award was received from the Federation of Zoological Gardens of Great Britain and Ireland for the breeding over several generations of the mud snail (Lymnaea glabra). This species of ditches and temporary waters is on the decline throughout Europe, and our own specimens came from doomed ponds in the path of a new runway at Manchester Airport. We are planning an experimental reintroduction of the species. Work with this animal complements our other work with temporary pool species such as tadpole and fairy shrimps, starfruit, grass poly and brown galingale.

We have also been asked by English Nature to work with an endangered leaf-beetle, Cryptocephalus coryli, and are currently rearing nearly 200 larvae.

Other breeding successes this year include bumble-bee shrimp, giant river limpet, golden sawfin goodeid, Spanish midwife toad, Pyrenean fire salamander and lesser white-toothed shrew.

P.J. Wisniewski

Franklin Park Zoo, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

A new exhibit of insect-eating plants opened at the zoo in May. Carnivorous plants occur all over the world; they come from wetlands that have nutrient-poor soils, and have evolved the ability to lure, trap and digest insects in order to get the nutrients they need. Franklin Park's exhibit is divided by the regions in which the plants grow wild. The top tank includes plants from the south-eastern United States, and the bottom tank highlights species found in south-western and north-eastern Australia. The various plants work in different ways to obtain their prey. Sundews and butterworts ensnare insects on their leaves, while the bladderwort manages to inhale microscopic insects as a vacuum cleaner might. Pitcher plants, some tropical species of which can grow so large that they consume such prey as birds and small monkeys, collect water in their leaves in which thirsty victims drown and are digested. Probably the most famous of carnivorous plants, the Venus fly trap, snaps shut on unsuspecting quarry when two trigger hairs on the inside of its trap are hit.

Franklin Park Zoo press release

Houston Zoo, Texas, U.S.A.

A black mamba (Dendroaspis polylepis) hatched at the zoo on 17 May. Houston Zoo maintains 1.1 adult black mambas; the male is 2.7 meters in length and the female is 2.4 meters. The pair have been housed together for four years, and copulation was observed approximately three months prior to oviposition. A three-month period of daily mistings and a significant increase in feeding frequency preceded copulation. The female deposited five eggs averaging 65 mm in length and 25 mm in width.

Unfortunately, the eggs were laid in 60 mm of water and as a result only one proved viable. It was incubated at 28° C in a moist vermiculite substrate, and hatched after a 72-day incubation. The neonate measured 45 cm and weighed 27 g. Immediately after hatching, it displayed the species' tendency to gape its jaws as a defense mechanism. This is believed to be the first captive breeding of this species in the United States.

AZA Communiqué (July 2000)

International Center for Gibbon Studies, California, U.S.A.

A male Javan gibbon (Hylobates moloch) was born at the Center on 29 January. This is the second birth of this species at ICGS in two years. The dam is a ten-year-old on loan from Assiniboine Park Zoo in Canada, and the sire is a 16-year-old male born at Perth Zoo, Western Australia. The pair were introduced on 18 August 1996. These two births are the first and second successful breedings of the species in the United States.

There are currently only seven Javan gibbons in the U.S.A., all at ICGS, which is one of only four institutions in the world that houses breeding pairs of this species. There are only seven captive-breeding pairs worldwide, with a total captive population of fewer than 70 individuals. The Javan is the rarest of the 11 species of gibbon, with an estimated 300–400 surviving in the wild, making it one of the 25 rarest primates in the world.

AZA Communiqué (June 2000)

Loro Parque, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

The largest penguin exhibit in the world, Planet Penguin, was opened at Loro Parque in November 1999. The spectacular main exhibit houses 65 king penguins, 46 rockhopper penguins, 40 gentoo penguins and two kelp gulls (Larus dominicanus). Most of the king penguins were hatched from eggs collected during an expedition to South Georgia [described by Roger Sweeney in I.Z.N. 45:8, pp. 487–494]; from the 117 eggs brought back to Loro Parque, 70 chicks were hatched of which 51 were reared successfully. The other kings, along with the rockhoppers and gentoos, were bred at Sea World in the U.S.A. A second exhibit displays 23 Humboldt's penguins obtained from Penscynor Wildlife Park, U.K., which closed in 1998.

Abridged from Cyanopsitta No. 55 (December 1999)

Miami Metrozoo, Florida, U.S.A.

A young Matschie's tree kangaroo is on exhibit at the Metrozoo. The zoo originally purchased two adult kangaroos and tried for two years to breed them. When it became painfully obvious that they were not the least bit interested in each other, we purchased a second female. The pressure of competition spurred the original female to breed with the male after all! The joey has ventured in and out of its mother's pouch since the age of around seven months, to explore a little, and then jump back in if spooked or just for extra security. He should be completely out of the pouch by nine months old or so. When the keepers discovered that the first female had a joey in her pouch, the tree kangaroos were separated. While mother and joey are together on exhibit, the male and the second female are housed behind the scenes, and we are hoping that this pair will also produce a joey.

AZA Communiqué (June 2000)

National Zoological Gardens, Pretoria, South Africa

The zoo is proud to announce the birth of eight African wild dog (Cape hunting dog) pups as part of its breeding programme for this endangered species. The pups are currently two months old and are being housed in a den by their mother in the wild dog enclosure. The pack consists of three males (each 13 months old) and two females (each three years old) who arrived at the zoo from Oudtshoorn and the Northern Province in November last year. They were slowly introduced to one another to enable the natural establishment of a social order to take place.

The zoo also saw the birth of an African wildcat kitten. These cats are found throughout the African continent and are only absent in tropical and montane forests; but it is becoming increasingly difficult to find pure-bred animals in areas near settlements, as these cats easily interbreed with domestic cats. As a result, the species is classified as vulnerable. The National Zoo, in an endeavour to breed pure African wildcats, started a successful breeding programme for these felines in 1994.

Pretoria Zoo press release, 15 August 2000

Newquay Zoo, Cornwall, U.K.

Partly as a means of taking education out of the zoo and into the community, and partly, it must be said, in the hope of attracting more visitors, Newquay Zoo has been running an `off-site encounters' programme since the mid-1990s. The main bulk of this programme sees animals from the zoo – along with two handlers – visiting eight big holiday parks in the Newquay area once a week for the duration of the summer season. The encounters have proved to be very popular, with crowds of up to a hundred holiday-makers not unusual, and although we have done no formal research it does seem to be an excellent way of `selling' the zoo.

We usually take three animals to each encounter, and these are drawn from a pool of handleable creatures: a bearded dragon, hedgehogs, ferrets, rats, hissing cockroaches, rat snakes and leopard geckos are amongst our most frequent travellers. A short talk is given, usually focusing on one issue (with the bearded dragon, for example, we talk about defence; with the rat snakes we attempt to discourage the ill-advised purchasing of snakes as pets), and the public are given the opportunity, where appropriate, to touch or stroke some of the animals. Our audiences are usually composed mainly of small children, and so the level of information cannot be too high, but nonetheless this is an excellent way to spread our message far and wide. Judging by the number of times I get stopped in the zoo by small children who want to know where Stumpy the leopard gecko has got to, we are also succeeding in attracting families to the zoo who might not otherwise have considered a visit.

The first seven months of 2000 have seen births in our groups of Humboldt penguins, coatis, silvery marmosets, cotton-top tamarins and Sulawesi crested macaques, amongst others. New arrivals include a pair of lilacine amazons from Chester. We have extended and improved our enclosures for both raccoons and Asian short-clawed otters. Some exciting new interpretative materials have appeared around the zoo, the most popular of which is a near-life-sized tapir which `scent-marks' the path as visitors walk past. Two new staff have joined the zoo: Phillipa Brakes, formerly our scientific officer and more recently employed by the RSPCA as a marine wildlife specialist, has returned to the zoo as our new curator, and John Tuson fills the new post of Zoo Liaison Officer, with responsibilities in all areas of the zoo.

John Tuson

Réserve Africaine de Sigean, France

The park's first African elephant, a female, Mara, born in 1982 in Zimbabwe, arrived in 1983. She was later joined by another female, Simba, born in 1983, and a male, N'Dumé, born in 1984, both from Kruger National Park in South Africa. Today, the group is kept in a 6,000 m2 outside enclosure where they can immerse themselves in a pool during warm weather. The enclosure has an earth substrate, giving them the opportunity to have dust baths. They spend the night in individual pens in a house which can be heated in cold weather. One of the three, Simba, spends time with a female Asian elephant, Yasmine. The keepers have close contact with the elephants; they shower them each morning and shut them up individually for the night.

In October 1998, Mara gave birth to a female, Bahati, in the outside enclosure. The calf had to be bottle-fed for a month because it was a little too small to reach its mother's teats. Mara was milked so that Bahati could have the colostrum. The calf spends the night with Mara and join the rest of the group during the day.

In July 1999, observations of the second adult female, Simba, showed that her teats were swollen. To make a pregnancy test, we organized urine sampling. The first sample was taken on 30 October directly during urination. Samples were taken once a week for 20 weeks. Analysis consisting of measuring the 5α-prognanolone was made by Dr Ann-Kathrin Oerke from the German Primate Centre, Gφttingen. Similar tests have already been carried out on 50 females from ten to 35 years old, in nine countries. This kind of study helps us to learn more about the African elephant's cycles (length of cycle, age at first and last cycling, etc.) without being stressful for the animals. The sampling procedure for urine and faeces is non-invasive (Heistermann et al., 1997; Oerke et al., 1999). Furthermore, these studies provide a better overall picture of a breeding group.

The results of this analysis, given to us in March, revealed that Simba might be pregnant. We do not precisely know the date of birth, so we decided to separate Yasmine, the Asian elephant, from the future mother, so that they will not be too disturbed when the birth takes place. Today, there are a male and three females (plus Yasmine, who is not in the same enclosure) in the group. It is stable, though there has been some slight aggression recently by Mara and also N'Dumé against Simba. This double aggression may be related to her pregnancy. N'Dumé also mated with Simba in February, July and August 1999.

Marianne Bilbaut, Scientific Assistant


Heistermann, M., Trohorsch, B., and Hodges, J.K. (1997): Assessment of ovarian function in the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) by measurement of 5α-reduced progesterone metabolites in serum and urine. Zoo Biology 16: 273–284.

Oerke, A.-K., Heistermann, M., and Hodges, K. (1999): Evaluation of the current breeding status of African and Asian elephant cows in European zoos and circuses based on non-invasive hormone analyses. Research Group Newsletter 6: 8.

San Antonio Zoo, Texas, U.S.A.

Two litters (0.0.8) of Feick's dwarf boa (Tropidophis feicki) were born at the zoo in September 1999. This is believed to be the first captive reproduction of this Cuban species in North America. The parents were acquired from a Czechoslovakian institution in 1989 and 1990 as adults. The boa neonates ranged from 144 to 185 mm in length and 2.1 to 3.6 g in weight at birth. Factors thought to have been important in eliciting reproduction included daily and seasonal temperature fluctuations and separation/

introduction techniques. A winter cooling period from December to February allowed diurnal temperatures to fluctuate between 17° and 27° C (62.6° –80.6° F); during the remainder of the year temperatures were maintained at 26–27° C (78.8–80° F).

Feral introductions, human colonization and deforestation have damaged the animal and plant life of many island ecosystems. Of the 19 species of dwarf boa (Tropidophis spp.) known to exist, 16 are endemic to the West Indies, including one recently reported to have been exterminated (T. bucculentus). Little is known of the natural history of these small, secretive snakes. For additional information contact Alan Kardon.

AZA Communiqué (February 2000)

Stone Zoo, Stoneham, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

The zoo is continuing its breeding success with flamingos for the sixth year in a row. Five new chicks, three Caribbean and two Chilean, are thriving, bringing the total number of flamingos at the zoo to 40, 29 of which are breeding adults. (An additional eight birds are on loan to Baltimore Zoo.) Since 1994, the group have produced eggs with a 37% fertility rate, and 59% of fertile eggs have resulted in healthy chicks.

This high level of success is based on a number of factors. Positive conditions for reproduction are thought to include a high density of birds within the exhibit, keeping them in the exhibit throughout the winter, and providing them with an ideal soil mix for nesting. Also, the zoo swaps flamingos with other collections in order to provide mating opportunities for all eligible, breeding-age birds. One thing that has helped is equalizing the gender ratio of birds. In 1995, for example, just 24% of eggs laid by the zoo's flamingos were found to be fertile. Since then, more males have been brought in, and the ratio of fertile eggs to the number laid has increased. Separating juvenile birds from breeding adults has also aided breeding success by removing the chance of the young birds' interfering with the breeding process. In the wild, juvenile flamingos would form non-breeding flocks.

Stone Zoo press release

Tama Zoo, Tokyo, Japan

The zoo has exhibited raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) ever since it first opened. When I was appointed keeper in April 1999, the six animals in the exhibit could almost never be seen. They were always hiding in the bushes. This is unavoidable, because raccoon dogs are nocturnal; but still, they could not be said to be `on exhibit' if visitors could not at least see them sleeping. I tried making hideouts for them which visitors could see into, but the animals would not use them. I later realized that the timid animals were afraid of me, and moved the hideouts to places outside of my work area. Then the animals began using the hideouts, and visitors could now see them.

[n order to get the animals to move about, I started feeding them in the daytime, instead of after hours, as had been the custom. But the old animals, who had been in captivity for ten years, could not get used to this, and left their food untouched. In autumn and winter of 1999, some young raccoon dogs were captured, and I began training them to take food from my hands. Now I do this in the afternoon, and after they have taken some food, I put the rest in their feeding box. Several more animals have been donated, and now there is a total of 15. They can be seen feeding and climbing in the trees. Since they are now so visible, questions from visitors have become more frequent, and we have set up a sign in front of the exhibit explaining about their food, their elimination habits, and their life in the wild.

English summary of article in Japanese by Yukihiro Takahashi, published in Animals and Zoos Vol. 52, No. 6 (July 2000)

Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Germany

On 7 July 2000 a caninde macaw (Ara glaucogularis) hatched out at the Tierpark. The parents are caring for the chick, which is growing up well. The mother was confiscated by the German customs authorities and came to the Tierpark in 1991. Her age is unknown. The father was bought by us from Miller in Fort Lauderdale. He hatched there on 4 October 1993. The young macaw is the first representative of this species hatched at a German zoo. The birds live in the park's parrot breeding station; another young pair of caninde macaws, hatched in 1997, are on exhibit; we got these birds from an Austrian parrot breeder. This is the seventh macaw species to have reproduced at the Tierpark.

Dr Bernhard Blaszkiewitz

Twycross Zoo, U.K.

We think Randyman, our red-faced black spider monkey (Ateles p. paniscus), may be the oldest of his species ever known. He is at least 44 years old, but we only have records on him going back to 1958. Before that, he was a pet on board a sailing ship. Randyman has been at Twycross Zoo since it opened, but although he has had several female companions he has never bred. He is still very agile, swinging and leaping from the branches and ropes in his enclosure. Due to his age, a few teeth have fallen out, so his food is specially cut into tiny pieces for him. All the keepers are very fond of Randyman; he has an amazing memory and calls out to people whom he has not seen for years. This handsome monkey has amazing clear blue eyes. All the other red-faced black spider monkeys at the zoo have brown eyes.

Judith Lupton in The Ape Vine Vol. 1, No. 3 (March 2000)

Zoo Negara, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Two female gaurs obtained from Singapore Zoo were successfully introduced to our only male, resulting in one of the females giving birth to a calf on 5 February 2000. At the time of writing, the other female is pregnant and is expected to give birth soon. Notable births during 1999 included an orang-utan and a sable antelope. We are concerned over the dwindling number of serows and Gir (Asian) lions at Zoo Negara. In 1995, the zoo had ten serows, including three born in that year, whereas today there are only 1.2 animals; the problem is being investigated. At one time the zoo had nine Asian lions, the largest group maintained in captivity; necessary steps are now being taken to introduce new blood by importing at least 1.2 new animals. Three (1.2) cubs born recently were found to have metabolic bone disorder and congenital problems.

Due to a shortage of man-power in the bird section, hand-rearing of chicks was temporarily put on hold. The birds were given a chance to raise their own chicks. Some of the birds which managed to breed were mountain peacock pheasant, Malayan peacock pheasant, argus pheasant, Gouldian finch, Fischer's lovebird, milky stork, painted stork, pink-backed pelican and blue peafowl. The hornbills were not successful in hatching this year: the females of the rhinoceros and greater hornbill went into the boxes, but there was no sign of chicks. At the time of writing the buffy fish owl is incubating, but it is impossible to determine if any are hatched until the bird can be seen to feed the chicks, as the nest is high up on the rocks. Traps were set daily for predator and pest control, and in the period January to October 1999 the following were caught: 1,736 rats, 6 pythons, 24 monitor lizards, 1 monkey and 1 crow.

Extracts from the Annual Report 1999

Zooparc de Beauval, St Aignan sur Cher, France

A rhinoceros hornbill (Buceros rhinoceros sylvestris) was successfully reared at the zoo this summer. A naturally-incubated chick hatched here in 1998 but did not survive. Past experience prompted us to take a different approach this year, and the egg was removed after the first days of natural incubation. It was then artificially incubated at a temperature of 37.2° C and a humidity of 52%, and a healthy chick weighing 50 g hatched on 6 April. It is being hand-reared and is doing well. The wild-caught parents arrived at Beauval in June 1988.

Luc Lorca in EAZA News No. 31 (July–September 2000)

Symposium on duikers and dwarf antelopes

An international symposium `Ecology and Conservation of Mini-antelopes' will be hosted by the Marwell Zimbabwe Trust in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, on 12–17 February 2001. For details, contact: Amy Plowman, Paignton Zoo, Totnes Road, Paignton, Devon TQ4 7EU, U.K. (Tel.: +44 1803 697514; Fax: +44 1803 5234597; E-mail:


Allchurch, A.F.: Conservation medicine: an emerging science. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 174–175.

Ashman, L.: Reversed sexual dimorphism in owls – Part 1. Tyto Vol. 5, No. 1 (2000), pp. 52–54.

Ashman, L.: Reversed sexual dimorphism in owls – Part 2. Tyto Vol. 5, No. 2 (2000), pp. 69–73.

Behet, A., and Rothe, H.: Territoriales Verhalten einer Weissbüschelaffenfamilie (Callithrix jacchus) unter Semi-Freilandbedingungen. (Territorial behaviour of a semi-free common marmoset family.) Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 4 (2000), pp. 229–242. [German, with English summary. The group, at the Institute of Zoology and Anthropology, Göttingen University, was studied from July to October 1995. Four days after getting access to the open-air enclosure, the animals were using their whole home-range, which was then defended physically and vocally against intruding conspecifics of neighbouring groups. Thus, it can be concluded that (1) non-relatives were not allowed to enter the home-range of a neighbouring resident group, and (2) that the area which was inhabited by the focal group was equivalent to a territory. Apart from physical attacks, threatening behaviour and acoustic and chemical signals played an important role in the territorial behaviour of the focal group.]

Bennett, J.A., and Routh, A.D.: Post-release survival of hand-reared tawny owls (Strix aluco). Animal Welfare Vol. 9, No. 3 (2000), pp. 317–321. [Hand-rearing did not appear to affect the owls' instinctive behaviour or post-release survival. The recovery of several pellets confirmed that hunting in this species is an innate process. In terms of animal welfare, hand-reared tawny owls do not appear to be at a disadvantage when compared with wild juveniles, indicating that current rearing and release practices are effective.]

Bezuijen, M.R.: The occurrence of the flat-headed cat Prionailurus planiceps in south-east Sumatra. Oryx Vol. 34, No. 3 (2000), pp. 222–226. [Three incidental sightings of this cat, a little-known species, were made on lowland floodplains in two distinct habitats, primary peat swamp forest and secondary lowland forest, the latter suggesting some tolerance to modified habitats. Sightings were along or near waterways. Recent information confirms the species's presence in protected areas of eastern, southern and western Sumatra, but the conservation status and habitat requirements of the species in south-east Sumatra are unknown. Regional degradation of riparian habitats and the isolation of protected areas warrant concern for the conservation status of the species.]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Kiesgrube und Feuerwache – Bemerkungen zum Bauen für Zootiere im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Gravel pits and fire watch – remarks on the animal houses at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 112–116. [German, no English summary.]

Blaszkiewitz, B.: Zu Besuch im Zoologischen Garten Peking. (A visit to Beijing Zoo.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 124–135. [German, no English summary.]

Bockheim, G.: The unique fishing techniques and nest building behaviour of captive hammerkops Scopus umbretta. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 2 (2000), pp. 56–61. [Disney's Animal Kingdom, Florida, U.S.A.]

Brandt, B.: Anmerkungen zur Geschichte der Bongohaltung und -zucht unter besonderer Berücksichtigung europäischer Zoos. (Notes on the history of bongo husbandry and breeding with special reference to European zoos.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 136–165. [German, no English summary.]

Chan, T.T.C., and Sadovy, Y.: Profile of the marine aquarium fish trade in Hong Kong. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 2, No. 4 (1998), pp. 197–213.

Congdon, S., and Zima, B.: Breeding the African jaçana Actophilornis africanus at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 2 (2000), pp. 62–73.

Cooper, J.E.: A thymoma in an Andean bear Tremarctos ornatus. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 67–69.

Courts, S.: Dietary studies of Livingstone's fruit bat Pteropus livingstonii: feeding behaviour, diet evaluation and modification. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 26–47. [Relatively little is known about the adequacy of captive diets for Old World fruit bats (Megachiroptera). The combination of reduced exercise and a plentiful food supply results in captive bats being generally heavier than their wild counterparts. It had become apparent that young, captive-born Livingstone's fruit bats at Jersey Zoo were considerably heavier than wild-caught adults. The paper gives an overview of three dietary studies carried out to produce an improved diet. A preliminary study was undertaken to see if weight differences could be explained by individual behavioural variation. Sampling of feeding sites showed considerable variation in time spent feeding, the utilisation of feeding sites and the extent to which individuals monopolised them. A second study evaluated the current diet fed to the bats. Weights of the different foods presented and left over were recorded over a ten-day period. The diets varied considerably from day to day, in amount and the number of different food types given. The available literature on fruit bat nutrition was used to compare known nutrient and energy requirements with the levels presented to the captive groups. To try and minimise the effect of individual preferences and social status on nutrition, a new diet was proposed, with a reduced daily diversity of food items. Dietary diversity was maintained over a weekly period and made nutritionally comparable to the former one, as no health problems, other than possibly obesity, had so far been linked to nutrition. Trials of the modified diet were carried out by presenting known quantities of food items to two groups of bats, collecting the leftovers and determining the proportions remaining. This also gave a useful indication of general dietary preferences: for example, acid fruits were found to be the least preferred foods. Consequently, the diet was then further altered to take into account these preferences, distributing the most preferred and disliked items more evenly throughout the week.]

Cowan, K., Darwent, M., and Riva, C.: The design of First Impressions, a new multi-species enclosure at Jersey Zoo. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 8–25. [Opened on 26 March 1999, First Impressions houses Andean (spectacled) bears, ring-tailed coatis and short-clawed otters. All levels of staff participated in the design of the exhibit. Flexibility was of paramount importance when developing the enclosure, so that species housed could, if needed, be changed in the future without major renovation.]

Dathe, F.: Die Haltung von Stumpfkrokodilen, Osteolaemus tetraspis Cope, 1861, im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde von 1965 bis 2000. (Husbandry of dwarf crocodile at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 63–71. [German, no English summary.]

De Vleeschouwer, K., Leus, K., and Van Elsacker, L.: An evaluation of the suitability of contraceptive methods in golden-headed lion tamarins (Leontopithecus chrysomelas), with emphasis on melengestrol acetate (MGA) implants: (1) Effectiveness, reversibility and medical side-effects. Animal Welfare Vol. 9, No. 3 (2000), pp. 251–271. [Finding a responsible method of population control that does not compromise animal welfare is a pressing problem for zoological institutions and conservation breeding programmes. This is exemplified by the programme for the golden-headed lion tamarin. The authors (from Antwerp Zoo and the University of Antwerp) conducted a study on the effects of contraceptive methods used in this species. Data were collected via a survey to which 65 collections responded, and it was found that MGA implants in females were by far the most widespread contraceptive method. It was very effective in preventing reproduction, provided that females were not pregnant at the time of implantation. Pregnancies that had commenced before MGA implantation were carried to term and resulted in viable infants, as far as noted. However, the degree of reversibility was very low and, if females did conceive after MGA implantation, infant survival was lower than expected. The widespread use of MGA implants in golden-headed lion tamarins (and probably other species) should be seriously reconsidered. Alternative methods of population control should be investigated. Possible options include the use of other contraceptive methods, limiting the number of offspring through natural factors, and the use of euthanasia under very strict conditions. Animal welfare implications associated with the use of euthanasia are discussed.]

Dos Santos, G.R., and Blanes, J.: Environmental education as a strategy for conservation of the remnants of Atlantic forest surrounding Una Biological Reserve, Brazil. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 151–157. [The 7,022-ha reserve, the only area in the region that legally assures protection for fauna and flora, is too small to conserve local species and maintain the genetic viability of their populations. Several species, including the golden-headed lion tamarin, therefore need to be able to interact with the forest fragments on neighbouring farms in order to enlarge their territories effectively. The article describes an education programme in the local community which seems to have improved the conservation and management of these fragments.]

French, H.J.: Management guidelines for Mauritius kestrels Falco punctatus. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 173–174.

Fritz, J., Morris, J., Schwandt, M., and Howell, S.: Chimpanzee preference for familiar versus unfamiliar slide images. The Newsletter Vol. 11, No. 1 (1999), pp. 1–2.

Fritz, J., Murphy, J., and Howell, S.: Projected slide images as environmental enrichment. The Newsletter Vol. 11, No. 1 (1999), pp. 2–4. [Chimpanzee, Primate Foundation of Arizona.]

Garcia, G.: Ecology and conservation of the Madagascan side-necked turtle Erynochelys madagascariensis. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), p. 172.

Gateño, D., Barki, Y., and Rinkevich, B.: Aquarium maintenance of reef octocorals raised from field collected larvae. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 2, No. 4 (1998), pp. 227–236. [The development of standardized and sustainable aquaculture techniques for the cultivation of marine organisms offers many advantages: it would help reduce the quantity of living material harvested from coral reefs; it could be used as an efficient means of rehabilitating impoverished reef ecosystems (e.g. by reseeding depleted natural stocks of corals); and it would provide an educational and research tool for the intensive study of marine animal biology under controlled laboratory conditions. The authors present the results of aquarium maintenance of three Red Sea soft coral species (Clavularia hamra, Nephthea sp. and Litophyton arboreum) raised from field-collected larvae. Planulae settlement was enhanced when dead coral fragments and stones freshly collected from the sea were added to the settlement dishes. Young colonies (n = 106, 258, 60 respectively) were monitored for 307, 475 and 207 days respectively. The survival rate at the end of the observations ranged between 17% and 30%. Growth rates of colonies differed and showed species-specific variations. The most successful growth was recorded in Nephthea, where the average colony size reached 324.5 polyps. Current aquaculture techniques for alcyonarian corals not only reveal that these organisms can thrive in aquaria, but also provide significantly improved yields of colonies, as compared with yields under field conditions. This study shows that various steps involved in the cultivation of young corals in captivity may need to be specifically tailored to suit the species in question.]

Gordon, A.K., Kaiser, H., Britz, P.J., and Hecht, T.: Effect of feed type and age-at-weaning on growth and survival of clownfish Amphiprion percula (Pomacentridae). Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 2, No. 4 (1998), pp. 215–226. [To simplify the weaning of clownfish from live food to artificial food, and to reduce the costs of feeding live food, three trials were undertaken to determine the best age for weaning. Twenty-nine-day-old post-hatch A. percula were weaned onto a fishmeal/casein-based dry food which was an acceptable substitute for either Artemia or a moist food comprising Penaeus indicus and Donax serra. Larvae weaned 4 days after hatch (DAH) had lower survival than fish weaned 7 or 10 DAH. In juveniles weaned from 10 to 30 DAH, good survival was obtained between 15 and 20 DAH, suggesting that this is a suitable window for the weaning of this species.]

Hinze, I.: Waxbills and their allies: the lavender waxbill. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 2 (2000), pp. 80–84. [Estrilda caerulescens.]

Janse, M.: Burgers' Ocean: een kunstmatig ecosystem. (Burgers' Ocean: an artificial ecosystem.) De Harpij Vol. 19, No. 3 (2000), pp. 2–5. [Dutch, no English summary; Arnhem Zoo.]

Kaiser, M.: Langjährige Zuchterfolge bei Veilchenohrkolibris (Colibri coruscans) und Schwalbentangaren (Tersina viridis) im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Long-term breeding of sparkling violet-ear and swallow tanager at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 48–62. [German, no English summary.]

Knaus, B.-U., and Betke, P.: Riemenwurmbefall bei einem Marabuküken. (Flatworm Ligula intestinalis infestation in a marabou chick.) Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 4 (2000), pp. 270–271. [German, no English summary; Cottbus Zoo.]

Kormann, J., and Tscherner, W.: Hautwürmer an Goldfischen (Carassius auratus gibelio). (Gyrodactylus worm infestation in goldfish.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 72–78. [German, no English summary.]

Kuchling, G., and Razandrimamilafiniarivo, O.C.: The use of ultrasound scanning to study the relationship of vitellogenesis, mating, egg production and follicular atresia in captive ploughshare tortoises Geochelone yniphora. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 109–115.

Lindsay, N.: The new penguin development at Whipsnade. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 2 (2000), pp. 85–86.

Louch, J., Price, E.C., Esson, M., and Feistner, A.T.C.: The effects of sign styles on visitor behaviour at the orang-utan enclosure at Jersey Zoo. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 134–150. [Signs are an important part of zoo visitor education; indeed for some visitors they are the only opportunity to gain information. This investigation looked at the ability of two different styles of sign to attract and hold the attention of visitors to the `longhouse', an education centre at Jersey's orang-utan enclosure. The amount of time visitors spent in the longhouse, looking at the enclosure, and reading the existing signs was measured using unobtrusive observation. The results were compared with times for a second set of temporary signs, which incorporated features thought to improve the `readability' of signs for visitors, such as smaller quantities of text, `grabber' headlines, and the use of colour and photography. Unexpectedly, the results showed that the existing signs were more effective than the temporary second set of signs, in terms of the number of visitors who looked at the signs, the number of signs that were looked at, and the amount of time that they were viewed for. The percentage of words on a sign that could have been read, however, tended to be larger for the new signs, if visitors who ignored the signs or only glanced at them were excluded. Possible explanations for these results are discussed, although the authors are not sure which aspects of sign design and placement were the most important, as several were altered at once. This would need to be determined by a further series of experiments altering only one factor at a time.]

Ludwig, W., Grätz, G., Herrmann, S., Peisker, U., and Pohle, S.: Überwinterung von Kleinnagern (Micromys, Alticola, Phodopus) im Freiland-Terrarium. (Over-wintering small rodents in outdoor terrariums.) Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 4 (2000), pp. 249–252. [German, with brief English summary; Dresden Zoo. The species involved are the desert hamster Phodopus sungorus, steppe lemming (Lagurus lagurus) and harvest mouse (Micromys minutus). The terrariums are roofed with transparent acrylic. The harvest mice are given additional protection against wind as well as artificial heating.]

McHenry, T., Brady, W., Candland, D., Echeverria, J., Ferguson, J., Jensen, J., Koontz, F., Jolly, A., Mars, V., Model, A., Pearl, M., and Tuten, J.: Wildlife Preservation Trust International's conservation perspective and strategic directions. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 116–123.

Masefield, W.: Forage preferences and enrichment in a group of captive Livingstone's fruit bats Pteropus livingstonii. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 48–56. [It has long been assumed that leaves constitute a very minor part of the diet of just a few Old World megachiropterans and New World phyllostomid bats, but this view is rapidly being undermined by increasing evidence of folivory in fruit bats. Leaves could be an essential factor in the ingestion of sufficient protein and nitrogen. Quite apart from the potential nutritional value of leaves to fruit bats, the behavioural enrichment value of presenting forage to them is significant. This study investigated this in a group of 11 Livingstone's fruit bats at Jersey Zoo, and assessed which plant species the bats preferred, with a view to providing a wider variety of forage items in the future. It is also important to take into account how the male dominance hierarchy affects access to food, and therefore the ranking system was also investigated. Four forage species were presented: willow, bamboo, ash and bramble. Willow and bamboo proved to be the most popular, but any species of forage was enough to stimulate the bats into activity. A secondary effect of the increased activity in the group was an increase in aggression, but considerable non-aggressive social interactions also took place. The presentation of forage is therefore an effective enrichment activity, but a possible associated increase in aggression should be borne in mind when designing forage presentation regimes.]

Matthies, E.: Künstler und ihre Werke im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Artists and their work at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 117–121. [German, no English summary.]

Mikkola, H.: Owl taxonomy: where have all the `lumpers' gone? Tyto Vol. 5, No. 1 (2000), pp. 7–14.

Narayan, G., Deka, P.J., Chakraborty, A., and Oliver, W.L.R.: Increase in the captive population of pygmy hogs Sus salvanius: health problems and husbandry. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 70–86. [The captive-breeding project of the Pygmy Hog Conservation Programme began with six wild-caught hogs in 1996, and within two and a half years the population at the Basistha Research and Breeding Centre in Assam, India, had increased to 51 animals. Intensive management based on both previously established techniques and locally devised methods is believed to be responsible for this 850% increase. Although 78% of all the young born in captivity were successfully reared, various infectious diseases resulted in the loss of 13 adult and subadult hogs. Salmonellosis combined with mucormycosis, and other bacterial infections such as acute pulmonary infections, were the main causes. Measures undertaken to treat and counteract these problems, and the development of husbandry protocols intended to improve the hygiene and general health of the captive hogs, are described.]

Okulewicz, A., Baranska, M., and Fill, I.: Intestinal parasites in primates at the Wroc_aw Zoo. Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 4 (2000), pp. 243–248. [Coprologic examination of representatives of 16 primate species (three Pongidae, two Cebidae and eleven Cercopithecidae) revealed the occurrence of the following intestinal parasites: Isospora sp., Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis, Ascaris lumbricoides, Oesophagostomum apiostomum and Capillariinae gen. sp. Monkeys housed in neighbouring cages of the same pavilion carried identical species of parasites. The results indicated that T. trichiura and E. vermicularis present an important problem at the zoo.]

Platt, S.G., and Tri, N.V.: Status of the Siamese crocodile in Vietnam. Oryx Vol. 34, No. 3 (2000), pp. 217–221. [Crocodylus siamensis, now regarded as one of the world's most endangered crocodilians, was formerly common in the wetlands of southern Vietnam. Populations are thought to have declined in recent years, although quantitative status assessments are unavailable. The authors surveyed five areas previously believed to harbour the only remaining populations in Vietnam, and their results strongly suggest that viable populations no longer exist. Remnant populations may survive in the Sere Pok River and Tay Son Lake, but these animals remain subject to persecution. Population declines are attributed to a combination of hunting, habitat destruction, incidental capture in fishing nets and collecting for crocodile farms. Reintroduction to Nam Cat Tien National Park is recommended.]

Pohle, C.: 30 Jahre Zucht von Addax-Antilopen (Addax nasomaculatus) im Berliner Tierpark. (30 years of addax breeding at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 31–38. [German, no English summary.]

Price, E.C., Herron, S., Wormell, D., and Brayshaw, M.: Getting primates to eat pellets: the nutrition of New World monkeys at Jersey Zoo. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 57–66. [Marmosets and tamarins (Callitrichidae) incorporate a large quantity of insects into their diet in the wild and are thought to have a high protein requirement in captivity. Previous investigations of problems potentially related to nutrition that have arisen in the New World primates at Jersey Zoo suggested that the original diets provided may have been deficient in protein, and a series of studies aimed at increasing protein intake in the collection was therefore undertaken. An investigation of the palatability of several types of primate pellet showed that the commercial pellets designed specifically for New World primates, which contain most of the protein in the diet, were not the most palatable. Approaches to increasing palatability and intake were therefore investigated. Use of different flavourings had little effect on pellet intake, but reducing the amount of fruit presented did increase intake. The results indicated species differences in protein requirements and food preferences, and emphasise that ensuring that the nutritional requirements of individual species are met in captivity is vital to the success of breeding programmes for endangered species.]

Rakotoniaina, L.-J., and Randriamanampisoa, H.: Theatre as a tool for conservation of threatened species. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 158–170. [A conservation education project in rural Madagascar.]

Ram, G.: Nieuw haaienaquarium. (New shark aquarium.) De Harpij Vol. 19, No. 3 (2000), pp. 24–25. [Dutch, no English summary; lemon shark (Negaprion brevirostris) exhibit, Emmen Zoo.]

Randrianarisoa, A.J.: Estimation of food intake in wild Alaotran gentle lemurs Hapalemur griseus alaotrensis. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), p. 171.

Razafindrahanta, H.: Investigation of the diet of wild Madagascar teal Anas bernieri. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 87–92.

Rinkevich, B., and Shafir, S.: Ex situ culture of colonial marine ornamental invertebrates: concepts for domestication. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 2, No. 4 (1998), pp. 237–250. [The worldwide market for ornamental saltwater invertebrates supplies the needs of millions of aquarium hobbyists, as well as of public exhibition, universities, and research institutions. The large-scale continuous collection of marine organisms is responsible, in many places, for the destruction of habitats, including coral reefs. The perceived expansion of the animal trade further threatens these fragile habitats. The authors discuss several concepts for the domestication of marine ornamental invertebrates (mainly colonial species), offering an alternative commercial approach. The major rationale is based on future ex situ propagation, not field collections; a strategy aimed to circumvent the need for wild-harvested animals. This strategy is based on: (1) collection, settlement and metamorphosis of large numbers of larvae from marine organisms or of naturally-shed germ cells under aquarium conditions, where survivorship exceeds that in nature by several orders of magnitude; (2) fragmentation of very small pieces (such as the size of a single polyp in colonial corals or a blood vessel ampulla in tunicates) for the production of new colonies; (3) the development of replicates and inbred lines from chosen ornamental species; (4) the use of cryopreservation of larvae and germ cells which will support the supply of material year-round; (5) several concepts for husbandry methods. Some benefits and deficiencies associated with the strategy for ex situ cultures are discussed, revealing its importance to the future of the trade.]

Rübel, A.: Eine Südamerikanische Nebelwaldanlage für den Zoo Zürich. (A South American cloud forest enclosure at Zürich Zoo.) Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 4 (2000), pp. 217–228. [German, with English summary. (This enclosure, opened in 1995, was described by René Honegger in I.Z.N. 45:5, pp. 291–294.)]

Rudloff, K.: Equidenbastarde im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde nebst einiger Bilder aus anderen Zoologischen Gärten. (Equid hybrids at Tierpark Berlin, with some photos from other zoos.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 39–47. [German, no English summary.]

Rudloff, K.: Im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde 1999 erstmalig gehaltene Tierformen. (Animals first kept at Tierpark Berlin in 1999.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 6–30. [German, no English summary; includes 43 photos of the animals concerned.]

Seidel, B.: Augenkrankheiten bei Säugetieren, Vögeln und Amphibien/

Reptilien im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Eye ailments of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 92–111. [German, no English summary.]

Smeeton, C., and Weagle, K.: The reintroduction of the swift fox Vulpes velox to south central Saskatchewan, Canada. Oryx Vol. 34, No. 3 (2000), pp. 171–179. [The Canadian Swift Fox Reintroduction Programme lasted from 1972 to 1997. Between 1983 and 1997, a total of 841 captive-raised and 91 translocated foxes were released in the Canadian prairies. In south central Saskatchewan, 406 captive-raised and 14 translocated animals were released from 1990 to 1997. This area was used to develop new release methods, in particular portable protective shelters. A 1996–97 survey estimated the population in the area to be 87 animals. No attempt has been made to establish if this population level is sustainable.]

Strauss, G., and Wisser, J.: Erkrankungen adulter Mähnenwölfe (Chrysocyon brachyurus) im Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde. (Ailments of adult maned wolves at Tierpark Berlin.) Milu Vol. 10, No. 1 (2000), pp. 79–91. [German, no English summary.]

van Balen, S., Dirgayusa, I.W.A., Putra, I.M.W.A., and Prins, H.H.T.: Status and distribution of the endemic Bali starling Leucopsar rothschildi. Oryx Vol. 34, No. 3 (2000), pp. 188–197.

van der Elst, W.: De opweek van Sepia officinalis. (Rearing of common cuttlefish.) De Harpij Vol. 19, No. 3 (2000), pp. 6–7. [Dutch, with English summary (see above, pp. 395–396); Antwerp Zoo.]

Van Krunkelsven, E., Bila-Isia, I., and Draulans, D.: A survey of bonobos and other large mammals in the Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo. Oryx Vol. 34, No. 3 (2000), pp. 180–187. [The 36,000 km2 park, the largest African rainforest reserve, was created in 1970 to protect endemic species such as bonobo and Congo peacock, but hardly any data exist on the status of animals there. During a three-week survey in 1997–98, the authors found that key forest species, including bonobo, bongo, black mangabey and leopard are present in reasonable numbers in the part of the park they explored. Bonobo density was calculated at 1.15 animals per km2, based on nest counts. Some elephants survive, despite enormous hunting pressure. Conservation measures to protect the animals need to be taken urgently.]

Visser, G., and van Herk, R.: Het Oceanium in Diergaarde Blijdorp. (Rotterdam Zoo's Oceanium.) De Harpij Vol. 19, No. 3 (2000), pp. 8–17. [Dutch, with English summary; describes the newly-opened first section of this major marine exhibit.]

Westley, F., Seal, U., and Clark, C.C.M.: The Population and Habitat Viability Assessment facilitators' course: a retrospective. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 124–133.

Wilkinson, R.: Chester Zoo bird review 1999. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 2 (2000), pp. 74–79

Williams, T.: Factors affecting chick survival in captive Bali starlings Leucopsar rothschildi. Dodo Vol. 35 (1999), pp. 93–108. [The Bali starling has been bred at Jersey Zoo since 1973, and although breeding has occurred each year since, results have been highly variable, with substantially fewer chicks reared to independence than have hatched. In a 1998 survey, reasons for chick mortality were determined by direct observation of behaviour and from post-mortem examinations. Breeding activity was observed using small cameras placed inside specially adapted nestboxes which relayed live pictures to monitors and time-lapse video recorders. Daily weather conditions and roosting times of males were also recorded. In order to put these results in context, historical data for mortality between 1980 and 1997 inclusive were also investigated. In 1998, mortality was 78% (18 of 23 chicks): 36% bacterial/parasitic infections, 11% feather-plucking, 11% malnutrition, 26% unknown cause and 16% accidental death. Most chicks died between eight and 14 days of age. All chicks that died experienced a drop in ambient temperature prior to death and died within the range 13–23° C. These results, along with thorough analysis of the diet, have led to positive changes in diet and husbandry, lowered mortality in the nest, decreased feather-plucking and increased parent-rearing. The remote method of observation during 1998 allowed the monitoring of chick progress and thus facilitated quicker removal of dead chicks from the nest and increased the reliability of post-mortem results. Preventive measures, such as medicating insect food and providing mealworms with a nutritionally balanced diet, are now taken to improve the health of chicks from an early age.]

Williams, T.: Watching Bali starlings at Jersey Zoo. Avicultural Magazine Vol. 106, No. 2 (2000), pp. 54–55.

Wilson, M.J., and Vincent, A.C.J.: Preliminary success in closing the life cycle of exploited seahorse species, Hippocampus spp., in captivity. Aquarium Sciences and Conservation Vol. 2, No. 4 (1998), pp. 179–196. [The trade in seahorses for aquarium fishes is contributing to the depletion of many wild populations of these animals. Many seahorses are sold to replace those that have died in captivity as a result of husbandry problems. It can be particularly difficult to rear young seahorses, because of their need for varied live food and their vulnerability to disease. The authors report a pilot study on rearing broods from males of three species (H. fuscus, H. barbouri and H. kuda) that had mated in the wild and gave birth in captivity. The new-born seahorses were fed an initial diet of enriched Artemia until 7 days, after which copepods were added to the diet. From 5 weeks, frozen mysids were gradually phased in to replace both other food items. Scrupulous hygiene was maintained. The authors achieved 100% survival of the partial broods they reared for all three species, and achieved life cycle closure in two of these during the experimental period. Of the three species, H. kuda grew to be largest and longest, and H. barbouri grew least. However, H. kuda were the slowest to mature and reproduce, while H. fuscus (intermediate in growth) were the fastest. Techniques used in this work should be more generally applicable, both for aquarium husbandry and for small-scale aquaculture to help provide alternative incomes for small-scale fishers who are otherwise dependent on catching wild seahorses.]

Wüstenhagen, A., Weisz, I., and Schwammer, H.: Schlafverhalten bei sechs Afrikanischen Elefanten (Loxodonta africana) im Tiergarten Schönbrunn. (Sleeping behaviour of six African elephants at Schönbrunn Zoo.) Zoologische Garten Vol. 70, No. 4 (2000), pp. 253–261. [German, with English summary. The article covers in greater detail the findings reported by the same authors in I.Z.N. 47:4, pp. 228–233.]

Publishers of the periodicals listed:

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

Aquarium Sciences and Conservation, Kluwer Academic Publishers, P.O. Box 322, 3300 AH Dordrecht, The Netherlands.

Avicultural Magazine, Avicultural Society, c/o Bristol Zoo, Bristol BS8 3HA, U.K.

Dodo, Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, Les Augrès Manor, Trinity, Jersey JE3 5BP, British Isles.

De Harpij, Stichting De Harpij, Van Aerssenlaan 49, 3039 KE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Milu, Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde, Am Tierpark 125, D-1136 Berlin, Germany.

The Newsletter, Primate Foundation of Arizona, P.O. Box 20027, Mesa, Arizona 85277–0027, U.S.A.

Oryx, Blackwell Scientific Publications Ltd (for Fauna and Flora Preservation Society), Osney Mead, Oxford OX2 0EL, U.K.

Tyto, International Owl Society, Sheraton Lodge, Station Road, Southminster, Essex CM0 7EW, U.K.

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