International Zoo News Vol. 49/3 (No. 316) April/May 2002
|Two Zoos in the East of England: Banham Zoo and the Suffolk Wildlife Park||John Tuson|
|`It Will Never Fly': the Ontogeny of Zoo Biology Early History of a Research Journal||Ken Kawata|
|Lost Menageries Why and How Zoos Disappear (Part 1)||Herman Reichenbach|
|Letter to the Editor|
|International Zoo News|
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What do the following people have in common? A poultry breeder, two pet-shop owners, a fruit farmer and landlord of rented houses, the owner of a high-class gambling club, a collector of wild animals and popular author, a breeder of pedigree domestic livestock, two landed aristocrats (each in partnership with the same heir to a dynasty of circus owners), a London slate merchant, a plant nurseryman and florist, the proprietor of a rural tea-garden? The answer, of course, is that people answering to these disparate descriptions were all founders of successful British zoos; probably many readers of I.Z.N. could provide the names of most or all of them. [For the record, the founders and their collections are as follows: John Knowles (Marwell), Molly Badham and Nathalie Evans (Twycross), Harold Goymour (Banham), John Aspinall (Howletts and Port Lympne), Gerald Durrell (Jersey), Herbert Whitley (Paignton), the Duke of Bedford (Woburn) and the Marquess of Bath (Longleat) with Jimmy Chipperfield, R.S. Goddard (Chessington), George Mottershead (Chester), and Douglas Ann (Drusillas).]
What started me on this line of thought was the article in this issue in which John Tuson describes the unorthodox origins of Banham Zoo and Suffolk Wildlife Park. Perhaps `unorthodox' is the wrong word to use: where British zoos are concerned, what if anything constitutes orthodoxy? Of the U.K. collections in the most recent Yearbook list, nine belong to zoological societies, six are municipally-owned, 17 are run by charitable or non-profit trusts, and no fewer than 33 are described as `private'. (Many of the trust zoos are also in effect private, where a trust has been set up with the main or sole purpose of running the collection with which it is linked.) Not all the society or municipal zoos, incidentally, can be ranked among the country's leading collections.
I have always assumed that the predominance of private zoos, and perhaps the oddly diverse personalities of zoo founders, are peculiarly British phenomena. Certainly the contrast is striking between the U.K. situation and that in, for example, Germany, where the majority of zoos large and small seem to be owned or at least financially aided by local or state government. Does the distinction matter? Possibly it does. Clinton Keeling's remark (quoted by Herman Reichenbach, below, p. 155) that `people [my italics] . . . make, or mar, a zoological garden' seems especially true of many British collections. And a thought I find worrying is that had today's increasingly restrictive regulations on private animal keeping been in force 50 or 100 years ago, many of the zoos we now admire and love might never have come into being. No doubt the possession of wild animals, especially endangered ones, needs to be supervised. But it would be a pity if regulations became so stringent that tomorrow's potential Gerald Durrells and John Aspinalls gave up in despair and abandoned the hope of creating the zoos they saw in their daydreams. Imagination is an essential ingredient in the creation of a great zoo; and it is certainly another thing that those people mentioned in my first paragraph had in common.
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TWO ZOOS IN THE EAST OF ENGLAND: BANHAM ZOO AND THE SUFFOLK WILDLIFE PARK
BY JOHN TUSON
Many zoos have their origins in peculiar circumstances, but there can be few more odd than those that led to the founding of Banham Zoo. In the 1950s, a Norfolk businessman named Harold Goymour owned a large fruit farm which, in a move that was quite unusual for the time, started to offer its crops directly to the public. The farm was in an out-of-the-way corner of the county even today, Banham is not the easiest of places to reach and so, to make the journey worthwhile, more was offered to lure people in: tractor rides, a selection of farmyard animals, a tea-room, a small collection of fancy pigeons and pheasants. Goymour also owned a number of houses in the county, and rented them out to American servicemen stationed at the nearby Lakenheath and Mildenhall airbases. Those same servicemen required furniture and electrical goods to rent, and so a showroom was set up at Banham to display what was available. With bored children needing to be entertained, the small animal collection which already existed as an adjunct to the farm and its attractions grew into a `pets corner', with a few exotic animals arriving: wolves, bears and monkeys all of them unwanted pets were soon making their home in this corner of eastern England.
By 1968 the Banham farm manager was becoming increasingly unhappy about having to spend time looking after the ever-growing collection of exotic animals. Thus the first zoo-keeper was hired, and an admission charge was levied in order to pay his wages. The following year 14,000 visitors paid to enter; Banham Zoo was up and running. When an advertisement was placed in Cage and Aviary Birds magazine in 1971, a young German named Herbert Dornbrack leased the small zoo and brought his colony of woolly monkeys to Norfolk (perhaps rather bizarrely, Dornbrack's previous employment had been as a ladies' hairdresser in Wales). Dornbrack was interested in monkeys, so the Banham collection expanded in that direction, and although the German soon sold back his lease and relegated himself to the position of zoo manager, the collection grew and grew. Eventually Dornbrack left, and took his woolly monkeys with him via Wales and Devon to the now-defunct Loch Lomond Wildlife Park in Scotland, from where the monkeys would eventually join the colony at Apenheul in the Netherlands.
Banham, meanwhile, was growing. The presence of a well-established collection just a few miles away Kilverstone Wildlife Park, near Thetford restricted the number of visitors, but the animal collection was starting to look impressive. As Banham entered its second decade its collection included many animals often seen in small zoos wallabies, capybara, otters plus an extraordinary collection of primates. In 1981 the British Zoo Federation recognised Banham's `outstanding' breeding success with marmosets and tamarins (125 were born in the five years between 1978 and 1983). In addition, there were chimpanzees, langurs, guenons and lemurs, as well as a number of species rarely seen in captivity: Malayan sun bears, binturongs and giant squirrels amongst them. Banham was starting to be recognised as one of the better small zoos in the country.
Two events in 1991 indicated the extent to which Banham Zoo had progressed. In the spring of that year, Martin Goymour (who had succeeded his father at the helm of his business empire) spent £950,000 purchasing the Suffolk Wildlife Park in Kessingland. Then, the following September, nearby Kilverstone Wildlife Park at which could be seen possibly the finest collection of South American animals ever assembled closed down. There were many reasons for that closure, but the fact that there was an ever-improving zoo so near at hand cannot have helped. Nobody at Banham would have been glad to see Kilverstone go, but its closure was yet another indicator of the extent to which things had developed at the erstwhile pets corner.
Unlike Kilverstone, the Suffolk Wildlife Park would probably not have been missed a great deal if it had closed down in 1991. If Banham's origins were odd, Suffolk's were depressingly familiar: in the late 1960s a number of zoos mushroomed up across Britain, their purpose ill-defined, their quality often minimal the Suffolk Wildlife Park was one such zoo. It was opened in 1969 by Laurence Wright, and developed in an unremarkable manner despite the natural beauty of its site. In 1987 the park was purchased by some local Suffolk farmers, the Le Grys family, and what had once been an amateurish but well-cared-for establishment slipped to the extent that in 1989 Martin Goymour visiting the park along with some keepers from Banham felt compelled to make an official complaint about the place to the Waveney District Council. The park was inundated with domestic animals, most of which roamed freely amongst the public. Tigers, lions and leopards were kept in stark cages, whilst a pair of chimpanzees, Heidi and Jasper, were advertised as the stars of the film Gorillas in the Mist. The last two dingoes on public display in the country `rescued' some years before from the closing Knaresborough Zoo in Yorkshire were kept in a small pen. The park was dirty and unpleasant, and did not have a great deal going for it aside from its location but what a location! Situated on the edge of the seaside resort of Kessingland, the park occupies around a hundred acres [40 ha] of gently undulating meadowland, with a river (and some small lakes) at one end. Here and there stand clumps of trees. It is wonderfully beautiful.
Banham's site does not have the same natural beauty. Like much of Norfolk it is unremittingly flat, but it has been enhanced considerably by the way in which it has been developed over the past 25 years. The last ten years in particular have seen constant development and improvement, both in the zoo's infrastructure and in its animal collection. Banham Zoo sits at the centre of the Goymour business empire; indeed it owes its very existence to the financial security with which it is thus provided.
Banham's primates are still amongst the most impressive in the country indeed, its lemur collection is one of the best in the world but it is also a first-class general collection at which can be seen many cats, several ungulates, a number of small mammals, and an interesting selection of birds. Whilst some of the housing for that collection is a little rudimentary particularly that which survives from the zoo's early years Banham Zoo contains many excellent exhibits which combine simplicity with thoughtfulness. The primary exceptions to this are the buildings in which the majority of the zoo's primate collection are maintained: running through the middle of the zoo, they are ugly and outdated, but are fortunately due to be demolished in the near future.
But if the monkey accommodation can, occasionally, look a little bit tired, the majority of the zoo's other animal housing is fresh and imaginative. A large pool for South African fur seals and the `World of Penguins' opened in 1993, and home to a thriving colony of about 30 black-footed penguins both allow visitors to get a great deal closer to these familiar animals than is usually the case. Similarly good is the zoo's Bird Garden, opened in 1990, where plentiful and impressive planting transforms a series of a dozen or so basic wood-and-wire cages into a maze of avian discovery: roadrunners, black curassows, hammerkops, kookaburras, Kenyan crested guinea fowl and a good collection of parrots are all to be seen here or in nearby aviaries. Banham also plays host to one of the country's most extensive collections of owls: around a dozen of the 133 species of owl are here, the most impressive being the great grey owls (Strix nebulosa) of the Arctic region. The owl aviaries are large and well-planted, and whilst one may doubt whether more than even a tiny minority of visitors appreciate the full breadth of this impressive collection, it is, nonetheless, one of Banham's finest features.
It is characteristic of Banham that whilst it is most definitely and most proudly a general collection, there are areas of specialisation within that general collection which are truly outstanding. There are the owls, for example, and a good selection of psittacines (just short of 20 species, with lilacine amazons and Ducorps's cockatoos amongst the stars).
Banham also specialises in cats, in an unspecialised sort of a way. Perhaps the least interesting of those cats are a pair of Amur tigers: tigers can be seen at so many zoos that their appeal has to be limited, but Banham's enclosure, `Tiger Territory', constructed in 1997 for the extraordinarily low price of £85,000 is as excellent a place to see them as any. It is large nearly two acres [0.8 ha] with many trees and a rocky pond. A massive climbing-frame about seven metres high offers the tigers an extensive view across the Norfolk countryside. Visitors can watch them through three plate-glass windows, each of which is set in a small `hide', and after a few years' growth shrubs and plants around the enclosure's perimeter are starting to obscure the fence. Whilst the house for the tigers is simple, it is worth noting that as well as night-dens for the cats it also contains a large day-cage where the tigers can rest (and be seen) if they do not fancy remaining outside. Tigers may be relatively common in captivity, but this is an uncommonly good enclosure for them. The enclosure for cheetahs at Banham is nearly as large as that for tigers, whilst small felines fishing cats, ocelots, Geoffroy's cats and leopard cats have all bred well. Banham's biggest success with cats has come with its snow leopards, which first bred in April 1987 and have barely stopped since. It is to be hoped that the Sri Lankan leopards will prove similarly prolific: Banham received its first males in 1997, from Zoo Cerza in France, and with a female recently arrived and a new enclosure in the advanced stages of planning, the prospects look good.
Amongst the other animals maintained at Banham, a group of binturongs in a series of enclosures originally constructed to house small cats breed frequently, and are well worth seeing. If they are asleep binturongs are very sleepy animals their smell alone is worth investigating: a sweet and rather pleasant odour, suggestive of burnt popcorn. Several other small mammal species are to be seen at Banham: the meerkats, maras, otters and mongooses that are a staple of just about every medium-sized British zoo. Another species that is joining the ranks of the ubiquitous is the red panda, and Banham's first pair arrived in the summer of 2001, their enclosure an attractive conversion of an old mara paddock. Perhaps more excitingly, a mixed Australian paddock has as its highlight a group of red kangaroos (these spectacular marsupials are seen in surprisingly few British zoos); nearby are maned wolves, Chilean pudu and Grevy's zebra, all of which have bred here.
In the summer of 2001 Banham saw its profile rocket when Foster a Rüppell's griffon vulture flew away from the zoo during a display, and then spent four days evading capture and appearing on the front pages of newspapers. For a short while in June it seemed as if one could not watch a television news broadcast without hearing the latest on the vulture's sojourn by the Norfolk seaside. At the year's end the bird's televised attempts to evade capture were even voted in by the viewers of Britain's Channel Four as the 75th most memorable television event of the year. Foster is now once more to be seen in a newly-developed corner of the zoo alongside several others birds of prey who feature in a spectacular daily flying demonstration, and a host of domestic animals including some pretty impressive heavy horses in an area known as the Heritage Farm.
It is still primates, though, which are Banham's forte. A small field which is currently home to a herd of Taiwanese sika deer and an indeterminate number of prairie dogs is earmarked as the site for a string of large islands on which some of that primate collection will be rehoused over the coming years. Islands or, indeed, new housing of any kind for the zoo's primate collection are certainly required. For the moment that collection is maintained in a variety of areas within the zoo, and whilst gibbons, colobus monkeys and some of the zoo's collection of callitrichids are presented with panache, the rest of the collection is not. The zoo's siamangs and Mueller's gibbons moved into attractive housing in 1997. The enclosures are `fenced in', with viewing through large glass windows, giving the impression that one is looking into a stockade simple, and effective. They're tall, too, which gives the two gibbon species every opportunity to display their agility. Siamangs are relatively familiar the largest gibbon species can be seen at around half a dozen British zoos but the Mueller's gibbons are a real rarity: found only in one small patch of northern Borneo, and held in just three other European zoos (the original male at Banham was found, in 1966, in a village in Borneo by the British army; the original female arrived from Perth Zoo two decades later). The year after the gibbon enclosures had been completed, four islands and a new house were opened up for marmosets and tamarins. The islands look splendid, although there is a problem with visibility: small animals, dense planting and a water barrier is a combination that can lead to frustration for the viewing public. Banham has been particularly successful with pygmy marmosets (well over 50 born here), emperor tamarins, and Geoffroy's marmosets. The colobus house is the most recent development: still not complete, it will, eventually, provide a large open-topped paddock for these monkeys with which Banham have always done so well. Already completed is the indoor accommodation: spacious and rather more aesthetically pleasing than the building it replaced.
The rest of the primate collection is maintained in a variety of rather raggedy houses, most of which are almost as old as the zoo itself. Martin Goymour admits that the replacement of these buildings is a high priority, but as always it is a matter of money and time. Nonetheless, even though a collection this good deserves to be displayed more sympathetically, the animals themselves quite clearly approve of the status quo: the breeding results at Banham have never been anything other than excellent. The monkey collection includes white-faced saki monkeys, black howler monkeys and a long-established group of black spider monkeys which has produced nearly 20 youngsters since 1975.
Even better are the lemurs: the combined collection of Banham and Suffolk is magnificent, with most of the gems to be seen in Norfolk. In addition to the more commonly seen black, ring-tailed and ruffed, there are a host of rarities: Sclater's lemurs, with their stunning blue eyes; crowned lemurs, who arrived from Europe in 1997 and bred three years later; mongoose lemurs, who have also bred; western and eastern grey gentle lemurs; and red-bellied lemurs chestnut-coloured inhabitants of Madagascar's east coast. All are unique or highly unusual in Britain, and the fact that Banham has been able to build up such an impressive collection is testament to the reputation it has developed amongst other zoos. Also rare are the Mayotte lemurs (currently at Suffolk, but not Banham), and the collared lemurs which Banham imported from Duke University in America, although these can be seen elsewhere in Britain. It is a shame that so few of Banham's visitors will appreciate the depth of this lemur collection. And while one must acknowledge that, to a certain extent, all zoos face similar problems, it is certainly true to say that this wonderful collection could be presented to the public with rather more élan. After all, how will the average visitor ever come to realise what a thing of wonder a crowned lemur is if he or she is not told as much? As it is, for the moment, Banham's lemurs are housed in a string of runs which look like the sort of thing one might knock up in the back garden. The exception is the large group of ring-tailed lemurs, domiciled on an island in a small piece of woodland: it's a pleasant area, also home to flamingos, white-naped cranes and red squirrels, but it is a little shabby and could do with a rethink.
There is a large (and thankfully separate) playground to appease those families for whom one cageful of lemurs is pretty much like another, but one cannot help but feel that more could be done in this direction: the catering at the zoo is profitable, but uninspiring to say the least. As at so many British zoos, the quality is low: in a letter, Martin Goymour has argued to me that `the cost of labour does not permit the luxury of china and metal cutlery' so, during the summer months, it's paper plates and plastic knives and forks, in the middle of a place which preaches conservation. The zoo's shop is similarly unappealing. But the basic catering does not detract from the fact that Banham is a very good zoo which is constantly getting better. What better way to use the gains of a successful business and how well that money is being spent at Banham!
Over at the Suffolk Wildlife Park the Goymour money has been spent equally wisely. Within a couple of years of acquiring the park, £400,000 had already been devoted to such basics as roadways, animal kitchens and food storerooms. A fair amount has been spent on animal housing, too, so that the park is now a rather eccentric mix of good and not-so-good, new and old. As each year goes by, there is less and less of the old, more and more of the new and as a consequence the park is developing into one of Britain's most appealing medium-sized zoos. The park is roughly divisible into two separate areas: at the top end there are a greater number of conventional zoo-type developments, as well as the café and a rather intrusive play area. Towards the river, though, things open up a bit, with the animals on show in large paddocks and on a string of islands.
It is at the top end, in the main zoo area, that most of the leftovers from previous management regimes can be seen, and whilst some of the enclosures are distinctly lacking, they nonetheless show how a bit of thought and imagination can transform even the worst enclosure. The run of cages along the park's eastern boundary, for example, would win few prizes for their aesthetic charms, and neither are they the most capacious enclosures in the zoo, but each has been well furnished, and with a deep litter on their floors they are just about satisfactory for the animals who live in them: some of that wonderful lemur collection, talapoin monkeys, and fossas, who have bred a notable achievement. Also housing primates are the cages where once could be seen the zoo's big cat collection. An ageing pair of chimpanzees, and Hamlyn's, de Brazza's and L'Hoest's monkeys are all on show, although none look as good as the lemurs at the far end of the zoo, displayed on half a dozen artificial islands. Those islands still seem a little barren they could definitely do with more extensive planting but the animals on show are superb, and seem to be thriving on the Suffolk coast. A more long-established monkey enclosure lies at the zoo's heart, and consists of a tree enclosed by electric wire. It is a simple idea, and the large group of Geoffroy's spider monkeys thus displayed look marvellous the only pity being that their house, into which they retreat when it is unpleasant outside, looks as though one strong gust of wind would blow it down.
Since the Banham take-over, the Suffolk Wildlife Park has been gradually remodelled so as to have an African theme: `The African Adventure', proclaims the publicity material, whilst visitors are encouraged to follow the `Livingstone Trail' on their way around the park. Those spider monkeys from South America obviously don't fit into this theming, and neither do the short-clawed otters, nor the wallabies and maras into whose enclosure visitors are free to walk (and which visitors can feed, too: a rare, but welcome, opportunity to get close to animals other than goats and sheep). Gradually, though, the animal collection is taking on a more convincingly African flavour. This strikes me as an excellent idea there are huge possibilities for interpretation and education but such theming is not easy: should the zoo discard a popular animal such as an otter, simply because it happens to originate from Asia? Should they, perhaps, make the effort to import some African spot-necked otters, for the tiny percentage of visitors for whom such things matter? It is to be hoped, too, that future developments will avoid the traps into which it is difficult to avoid stumbling when pursuing an African flavour: it is rather too easy to appear patronising and insensitive when dealing with such matters.
The sheer size of the park means that there is plenty of scope for a larger collection of ungulates than is maintained at Banham. Sitatunga and both Kafue Flats and Nile lechwe all do well on marshy paddocks which are not dissimilar to their native habitats, whilst Chapman's zebra, Barbary sheep and Arabian oryx (not quite African, but well worth seeing) are also maintained here. Close to the zoo's centre, a quintet of giraffes are housed in one of those peculiarly British zoo buildings a combination of agricultural architecture and suburban flower-beds; nearby is the recently-constructed home of the park's first white rhinos (the interior of which quite delightfully also provides a home for a small group of hyrax). The eventual plan is to link the two paddocks in the middle, add in some antelope species, and create one large mixed African enclosure. When it is completed it will certainly be an impressive addition to the park.
Also benefiting from the plentiful space here are cheetahs and lions (the enclosure for the latter a wooded hollow is particularly pleasant), whilst among the smaller enclosures there are displays of meerkats, porcupines and servals: all African, all doing well, but none likely to thrill the regular zoo-goer. Far more unusual are a marvellous trio of striped hyenas the only ones on show in Britain. Their enclosure is large, and with viewing through glass windows visitors can get a superb view of these magnificent animals. Planting will hopefully eventually hide a rather stark fence. The zoo's most appealing inhabitants are probably its aardvarks, who share a delightfully idiosyncratic little house with a couple of reptile displays, Malagasy giant jumping rats (increasingly common in British zoos, and nearly always invisible to the visitor), and two rather unusual bat species: Gambian epauletted (Epomophorus gambianus) and straw-coloured (Eidolon helvum). In 2000 a new run of enclosures for fennec and bat-eared foxes and yellow mongooses was opened: stylish, attractive and home to fascinating and rarely-seen species, they show just how good this zoo could be.
The owl collection housed in a small and not especially wild slice of woodland that the previous regime insisted upon calling the `Wild Wood' is not as comprehensive as at Banham, but is composed exclusively of African species. Whilst Suffolk's bird collection is not its strength, there are ostriches and crowned cranes, and hooded and Egyptian vultures. A walk-through enclosure for flamingos and wildfowl is particularly attractive.
Perhaps the least impressive aspect of this increasingly impressive place is the area around its entrance, the `people' area. A play area sprawls. The attention of newly-arrived visitors is caught first not by animals, but by a crazy-golf game. The shop is as unattractive as the vast majority of zoo shops. The architecture of the café and administrative buildings is redolent of a 1950s holiday camp. And despite the natural beauty of the park, there is still work to be done landscaping it: the top end can seem a little open and exposed, with the paddocks for Congo buffalo and onager particularly bleak when the sky is grey and the wind is blowing. But it is only a decade ago that this was a zoo of real poverty, its collection, its buildings and its ethos all desperately inadequate. The Suffolk Wildlife Park is now a place very much on the up. If it can maintain its current rate of progress and development, it will most definitely be a place worth watching.
Since Banham first opened its gates as an animal collection in February 1968 and since the Suffolk Wildlife Park was taken over by the Banham people in 1991, neither zoo has shown much of a financial return on the money which has been ploughed into them both. With visitor figures at around the 200,000 mark at Banham, and well beyond 100,000 at Suffolk, they may pay for themselves in the near future, but for the moment each of the zoos still relies on the munificence of the business empire at the centre of which they sit (in Banham's case, quite literally). If any two zoos deserve such support, Banham and Suffolk certainly do. In an area blessed with many good wildlife collections (Colchester is not far to the south, whilst Linton, Thrigby Hall and Hamerton are all within easy driving distance) they stand out as being particularly worthwhile however odd their origins may have been.
John Tuson, 44 Cowper Street, Hove, East Sussex BN3 5BN, U.K. (E-mail: email@example.com)
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`IT WILL NEVER FLY': THE ONTOGENY OF ZOO BIOLOGY EARLY HISTORY OF A RESEARCH JOURNAL
BY KEN KAWATA
Pre-20th-century European zoos were motivated more by the pursuit of knowledge than their modern counterparts, which are far better equipped for scientific investigation. The newer zoos of the late 19th and early 20th centuries were created by the need for public recreation, and by civic pride. In earlier days there were examples of research on zoo animals in North America; however, most of the efforts were made by non-zoo scientists (Wemmer et al., 1995). When Philadelphia Zoo, known as America's first zoo, was opened in 1874, research was considered its legitimate objective. As early as 1876, research was mentioned in the report of the prosector [anatomist] of the zoo (Snyder, 1974). It is noteworthy that at that early stage Philadelphia Zoo had already placed emphasis on research. It would be of interest to first take a quick look at a few events of the 1970s concerning research in the American zoo scene. For it appears beneficial, in discussing the birth of Zoo Biology, to review how the subject of research was dealt with a century after the opening of Philadelphia Zoo.
At that time, just as in Philadelphia in the 19th century, research was included in the zoo slogan along with conservation, education and recreation. Repeated in letterheads and written materials, these four functions became a part of the landscape in our daily work. However, compared with more perceptible functions such as recreation, research remained rather elusive. It was an invisible pillar. Attempts to seek out tangible proof of research were usually met with ambiguity. For most of us, a zoo was far removed from the world of the Journal of Mammalogy, Auk or Copeia. Exceptionally, topics in applied disciplines, be it nutrition or preventive medicine, generated attention, partly because they were deemed necessary to maintain animals.
It might be noted at this point that aquariums have played a significant role in advancing science. For instance, the late Dr Earl Herald of Steinhart Aquarium, San Francisco, was far ahead of zoo counterparts in the area of research and education. He was both a pioneer and a model for present-day aquarium directors, and also a respected scientist (Newman, 1994). This was partly because his aquarium was a parcel of a larger scientific institution, the California Academy of Sciences. More recently, an aquarium official noted: `Zoos and aquariums rarely exist as separate and distinct entities anymore' (Andrews, 1996). However, aquariums have unique characteristics of their own, making a sharp contrast with zoos.
The origin of aquariums was closely tied to the advancement of technology. For example, the ready availability of glass enabled public exhibits of aquatic creatures; prior to that, captive aquatic animals were observed only from above, lacking the full view. Earlier aquariums tended to be located at the seaside or close to the sea, due to the need for a supply of seawater. Only in the 20th century, as transportation improved, did tropical fishes become available to temperate regions. Moreover, aquariums can be packed into relatively small spaces. `They are perhaps, therefore, separatists by virtue of economics as well as philosophy' (Robinson, 1990). The scope of this account is therefore directed toward zoos in a more traditional sense.
There was no question, then or now, that a zoo was a mostly untapped reservoir of biological knowledge. As Prof. Heini Hediger (1964) stated regarding the learning potential in zoos, `It has countless possibilities, from its value for parasitology to its value for comparative psychology, from artistic value to value for the anatomy of the brain. None of the precious material in the zoo must be wasted, neither the animals themselves nor the material for observation' (p. 179).
Likewise Dr William Conway, who later became the chief architect of the North American Species Survival Plan, commented (1973): `Obviously, research directed towards improvement of animal management and propagation techniques, towards exhibition and conservation education is the first priority for the animal curator.' Indeed, such organizations as the Zoological Society of Frankfurt, the Royal Zoological Society of Antwerp and the Zoological Society of London made outstanding contributions toward in situ conservation and research. In North America, the National Zoo (Washington, D.C.) is in a prominent position when it comes to zoo-based research. However the National Zoo is a notable exception, being established by the federal government and a part of the Smithsonian Institution. This account will focus on municipal and society-operated zoos, which constitute the majority of zoos. Those zoos have diverse administrative origins, and most of them were not founded as cultural or scientific organizations, as is the case with museums. Statistically, smaller zoos make up the majority of zoos. Their objectives may differ significantly from those of their larger cousins, which were established by the big city élite. Among the municipal and society-operated zoos, the conservation research programs of the New York Zoological Society (now Wildlife Conservation Society) have been pre-eminent.
It might be noted that liaison between zoo animal collections and scientists has been historically brief. Even the New York Zoological Society was no different, as its experience indicated. An Institute for Research in Animal Behavior was established in 1965. A pact was made with a university for a joint program, and by the time it was discontinued in 1971, more than 100 papers had been produced. However, `The plan to use zoo collections for study was somewhat thwarted. The Institute's biologists brought with them special research interests which could rarely be adequately housed in existing zoo facilities; resulting in the establishment of a separate ``research zoo''. The zoo's expertise in managing wild animals did not always apply to the species of special interest for research.' Eventually, the Zoological Society elected to restate its emphasis in favor of field studies. The university elected to develop further the laboratory aspects on its own site, away from the problems imposed by the strictures of a heavily attended public zoo (Conway, 1973).
Back on the national zoo scene, in the early 1970s a pioneering project by Drs U.S. Seal and D.G. Makey was under way using computers for information storage and retrieval and the development of a centralized data storage system. At this time Gary K. Clarke, President of the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (AAZPA, now AZA), established a committee on computer applications (Seal, 1971).
The 1970s can be characterized as the decade when AAZPA gained independence from its parent organization (the American Institute of Park Executives). It was also the time when critical animal management issues surfaced in the forefront of AAZPA's activities. Although the general lack in biological research was still prevalent, practical issues such as surplus animals and problems concerning animal husbandry began to occupy zoo administrators' minds. Reflecting the concern, AAZPA President Les Fisher stated in January 1973: `Our annual conference this fall will emphasize research that benefits captive wild animals. The scientific research community is anxious to cooperate in our meeting and to work more closely with our staffs in the coming years' (Fisher, 1973). His enthusiasm was echoed by conference program chairman George Rabb: `The four symposia on research, supported by the Institute of Laboratory Animal Resources of the National Research Council, will concentrate on practical examples, aspects and problems of making research more than part of a zoo letterhead slogan' (Rabb, 1973). The symposia offered a wide variety of stimulating papers on topics ranging from behavioral stress in captive animals and the genetics of inbreeding to the aforementioned computer usage for animal inventory systems, which were later compiled into a book (National Academy of Sciences, 1975). The symposia left an impression that genetics was bound to become the pivotal theme for zoo animal management in the 1980s.
It was also during this period that at an AAZPA conference a member made a proposal to replace the term `research' with `scientific study'. This was the time when society began to notice the activities of radical animal advocate groups, which were gaining a foothold in the national scene. The underlying reason for the proposal was that `research' might seem to imply cruel biomedical experiments, which in turn could potentially have an adverse public relations effect. This proposal was met with stiff opposition by a zoo director, who stood alone against this knee-jerk attempt. Those in the audience were stunned by the uncharacteristically emotional tone of his defense.
The year 1974 saw the loss of Zoologica: `The New York Zoological Society announces the suspension of publication of its quarterly journal Zoologica' (Walter, 1974). It was a mere three years earlier that an announcement had been made: `The New York Zoological Society wishes to turn its publication, Zoologica, into a zooaquarium journal rather than maintain it in its present status of general zoological journal. They have added a News and Notes section to accommodate short articles' (Anon., 1971). Members of AAZPA were urged to send manuscripts (Anon., 1972). On the brighter side, during that year Philadelphia Zoo hosted the Centennial Symposium on Science and Research (Snyder, 1974). The papers presented at the symposium were largely confined to three areas, namely comparative medicine, veterinary medicine and animal husbandry, reflecting the significant facets of zoos and their management problems.
As mentioned before, the surplus animal issue posed a serious dilemma for zoos. Contemplating the issue, John Werler (1974) commented: `With the help of the new I.S.I.S. computer data program, perhaps the entire picture of the captive animal situation will be evident, forming a basis on which zoos can work together for our common goal: preservation of the world's wildlife'. His view hinted at a need for a more structured and collective animal management program, organized on a national level. The concept of collective management of zoo animals was by no means new. In the 1960s Wild Animal Propagation Trust, Inc., or WAPT, was active in the American zoo world. As objectives of the organization, it stated, in part: `The Trust is operated exclusively for charitable, scientific, research and educational purposes and for the advancement of wild animal management' (Anon., 1966). According to Dr Theodore Reed (pers. comm.), WAPT basically remained a program for a few selected species in larger institutions. Among its accomplishments was the establishment of the golden lion tamarin program, the first major cooperative breeding program in the U.S.A. WAPT was ahead of its time; however, it caused tremors that influenced the emergence of the SSP movement. In the 1970s, with renewed interest, the concept of small population management of zoo animals was gathering momentum.
In the fall of 1978, AAZPA President Edward Maruska charged the Wildlife Conservation and Management Committee Chairman Dennis Meritt with the task of developing a program for a National Propagation Master Plan. During the following year, a first draft called the Master Breeding Plan was completed. In early April of 1980, the plan was renamed the Species Survival Plan, or SSP (Meritt, 1980a). Many considerations were included in the plan, such as the surplus animal issue, wildlife conservation and ISIS. Also, the convening in November 1979 of the Third World Conference on Breeding Endangered Species in Captivity demonstrated the need for an AAZPA response. Collectively, various groups started to look at an international approach towards long-term species management (Meritt, 1980b).
Fittingly, in the late 1970s the work of several biologists revealed the four factors at work in the genetic apocalypse in zoo animals: founder effect, inbreeding, selection and genetic drift (reviewed by Conway, 1980). One of the studies stated that the mortality rate of inbred young was higher than that of non-inbred young in 15 out of 16 species of captive ungulates (Ralls et al., 1979). In one of his earlier papers, Dr Tom Foose, who helped provide the theoretical basis for the SSP, stressed the need to manage animal collections as biological populations, emphasizing the importance of genetics and demography (Foose, 1980).
It was apparent that the SSP alone would provide a springboard for a variety of biological research. Programs such as SSP and ISIS would generate active interest in biology, building a foundation for a broader scope of research beyond the arena of animal nutrition and preventive medicine. This is not to diminish the value of such immediately applicable areas. Rather, the programs pointed up the challenge for zoo biologists, to sail into the uncharted waters of science. It called for expanding the horizon, ultimately, to link captive populations with in situ populations. It appears that in biological terms, events in the 1970s produced a gametic and zygotic platform for zoo research. Thus, the topic of research came full circle in the American zoo scene, a century after Philadelphia Zoo chose it as one of its objectives. Interest in biological research was growing, albeit slowly. At this time there existed a need to unify the voices, to create a forum for promoting research as an integral part of zoo functions.
In 1980, at the AAZPA annual conference in Chicago, Bob Reece and I exchanged notes on this subject. Throughout the conference we approached colleagues, and debated the need for a zoo research forum. Discussion between Bob and me continued into the wee hours in the morning. In outline, our conversation ran as follows. In order to promote research we needed a vehicle, an outlet for researchers. Research was not complete until the result had been published. What we needed was a research periodical. Europe had a well-established journal, Der Zoologische Garten; the Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquariums had been publishing a quarterly research journal since the 1950s. It was unfortunate that Zoologica, the North American equivalent, had ceased its operation. We believed that the time had come to explore the possibility of initiating another zoo research journal.
However, establishment of a periodical from scratch appeared to be a monumental task. It was in the 1970s that urban zoos began to experience hard times, as municipalities were faced with a precarious financial reality. Challenges were many for zoo administrators to ensure institutional survival. In such a climate, research could be perceived as a luxury, even though it was believed to be one of the mottoes for modern zoos.
Also, AAZPA already had conference proceedings, published twice a year to provide members with the information formally presented at the regional and annual conferences. A suggestion was then made to initiate a new publication that would combine the conference proceedings with additional papers on subjects including husbandry, exhibit design, reproduction and research. This journal might also include a `notes' section to contain results of research, comments on previously published articles, and the reporting of symposia and special topics. The matter was taken to the AAZPA Membership Programs Committee. At the committee meeting on 16 September 1980 in Brookfield Zoo, incoming chairman Conne Dillon noted that `perhaps it was appropriate for this Committee to analyze the effectiveness of the format of AAZPA Proceedings as currently published.' This move was intended to be a step toward the establishment of a new research periodical.
In the meantime, Bob Reece and I decided to take a poll on starting a new journal. In his memo of 29 October 1980, Bob stated: `Enclosed is a copy of the letter I have sent to approximately sixty (60) zoo directors, curators and other key people in approximately forty (40) zoos throughout the United States and Canada. My hope is that we will get some reliable input on the feasibility of establishing an American zoological park journal.' In the letter Bob outlined the scope of the project, and asserted: `As I'm sure you are aware, all this portends a rather ambitious undertaking, not only for those who would serve such a journal but also for those who would benefit from it. I am asking that you give this whole idea of communication some serious thought. Could such a journal be initiated? Would there be enough interest and participation for it to remain viable? Are there feasible alternatives or more effective ways to accomplish this task?' By 14 November of that year, a total of 24 replies had arrived at Bob's office.
Of the 24, six projected a positive response to our collective thoughts on the new journal, with a varying degree of optimism. At the other end of the scale, seven expressed a rather negative opinion, again in varying degrees. In between lay eleven letters revealing a wide range of opinions from neutral to skeptical; they made comments, asked critical questions and weighed pros and cons of initiating a new AAZPA journal. Thus, this informal poll disclosed a quarter of respondents showing support, almost a quarter non-supportive, while nearly one half remained non-committal. Although the sample size was small, it probably indicated a flow of predominant ideas in the mainstream zoo professionals at the time.
The supporters reflected a range of enthusiasm. One curator wrote: `I believe such a journal, as you have suggested, could be initiated (perhaps mimicking Zoologica in some respects). I also believe there would be interest and participation and there is a huge untapped but interested audience outside AAZPA.' Yet, they were in the minority. One director, after praising the idea of a new journal, expressed his thoughts: `However, realistically I think it will be tough to achieve. . . I would think a journal might receive an enthusiastic reception but after the first several issues the editors would probably have a tough time in stimulating articles, especially on time.'
`On the surface this seems like a good idea,' commented one director. `However, how much would this be used or supported by our members?' Similarly, another director commented: `Two big questions arise: (1) Is such a journal really needed? (2) Is it economically feasible? . . . Finally, I am of the opinion that sufficient publications now exist to adequately handle the present need (IZYB; proceedings; Zool. Garten; Inter. Zoo News; Animal Keepers' Forum; Journal of Zoo Animal Medicine; etc.).' On the quality of material, one curator mentioned that even the editor of the International Zoo Yearbook `. . . has a difficult time in finding a suitable number of satisfactory articles.' In the same vein, one zoologist wrote: `I think your biggest problem would be finding sufficient material for the journal and personnel to do the work.' What this survey also revealed was the impact of past experiences concerning zoo journals. According to one director: `In 1972, during the [AAZPA] Portland conference, there was a gathering of zoo folk to determine the feasibility of a national `slick' zoo publication for popular consumption; the consensus at that time was that such an endeavor would not be economically feasible.'
Moreover, the fate of Zoologica still weighed heavily on the collective minds of zoo officials. `The loss of Zoologica was a tragic one,' one assistant director said. Added a director: `I don't think it's any secret that ``zoo people'' have a horrible reputation for writing or corresponding just try and solicit papers for a Regional Conference or send out a survey. Unless you could overcome this problem, I'm afraid that your new journal would meet the same fate as Zoologica. I can easily foresee someone spending days on the telephone begging people to contribute.' On the fate of this journal, William Conway later noted (pers. comm.): `Zoologica simply did not attract the MSS it needed to survive; it was before its time.'
Although there existed a breath of optimism and support, our assumption was that the survey demonstrated undeniable odds against initiating a zoo research journal. It was our conclusion that this idea would have to be shelved, as were other proposed projects that never saw the light of day. `It will never fly' was our impression; the goal appeared far from attainable. Little did we know that in the following year, enthusiastic support was identified for such a journal during the Workshop on Zoo Research which was sponsored by Los Angeles Zoo (Maple, 1982). At this juncture a strong advocate emerged, who was well experienced in academia and editorial processes as well as zoo management. As Bob Reece reminisced (pers. comm.), `. . . while Zoo Biology came along at the right time, if it hadn't been for Terry Maple making it happen, we still might not have a good refereed journal.'
In his letter dated 14 July 1981, Dr Terry Maple wrote: `I have made some progress on the zoo journal which I'd like to report to you. A publisher has stepped forward who is willing to assume all financial risk in the development of such a journal. The publisher is Alan R. Liss, Inc., who currently publishes The American Journal of Primatology, The American Journal of Anatomy and The American Journal of Physical Anthropology among other distinguished periodicals. In working with Liss, I have proposed that the journal be a refereed quarterly with an editorial board made up of researchers and zoo professionals. Such a journal would publish scholarly reviews, empirical research, short communications, scholarly book reviews, and literate editorials. It would sell for about $30 per year to individuals, $80 to institutions. Would you serve on the editorial board of such a journal?
`The publisher believes that an independent effort would be advisable until the journal had proved itself. Once stability had been reached, AAZPA could consider affiliation. The name Zoo and Aquarium Research has been suggested, but the publisher favors a broader title such as Captivity and Behavior: a Journal of Zoo and Aquarium Research.' (Maple then inserted an asterisk and jotted down: `Recently, I've been toying with Hediger's title Zoo Biology.') He continued: `I believe that an independent effort can succeed and would be an appropriate step if there is genuine support among researchers and zoo professionals. What do you think about all of this?'
My reaction to his letter could be termed as elation, or perhaps, disbelief. I sent him a letter dated 20 July 1981: `Concerning the zoo journal, the key factor that makes it a success is cooperation and support by zoos, and that is why so many zoo directors are skeptical about this project. Some people think it may never get off the ground. We shall see. As for the name, I'd go for Zoo Biology à la Hediger, as opposed to Captivity and Behavior. Because the latter pretty much restricts the scope of the journal.'
Terry had a dogged determination to carry the ball, evidenced by his letter of 11 January 1982: `I'm writing to bring you up to date on our progress toward development of a zoo journal. I have been heavily engaged in correspondence and negotiations since I last spoke to you, and support continues to be strong. Recently, I sent letters to another 20 individuals in search of a broader array of editorial participation. . . As I see it, the best course of action is to initiate the journal as a ``co-operative'' but essentially private-enterprise venture. If we are going to do something in 1982, we can't afford much delay. As it stands, we have succeeded in organizing an editorial board, and in developing a concept for operating the journal. We need now to refine our editorial policies and begin to attract contributions. Our support is evident in Europe as well as America. I've enclosed a letter I recently received from Heini Hediger which illustrates this point. . . I hope that we can get the boost from AAZPA that we need at this point. Hopefully, we can soon get to work in earnest.' Tirelessly Terry pursued the project. The above memo was followed by a form letter, an invitation to serve as an Associate Editor, dated 24 May 1982. This, I believe, was his first communication as the Editor of Zoo Biology:
`The Board of Directors of AAZPA recently voted to support our independent efforts to develop the journal Zoo Biology which will be published by Alan R. Liss, Inc., of New York. Currently there are 46 editors who serve the journal as a core of referees. A smaller body of professionals is needed to function as Associate Editors. The responsibilities of Associate Editors include attendance at the annual Editorial Board meeting (held during the AAZPA Conference), policy decisions, future appointments to the Board and Editorship, and other advisory duties. If you are willing to serve the journal as an Associate Editor, please let me know by immediately returning the stamped postcard provided herein. Thank you very much for considering this invitation and for your continued support of Zoo Biology.'
The first batch of manuscripts soon arrived. My job as an Associate Editor began by reviewing these manuscripts. I then sent Terry a letter, more than two pages long, dated 25 June 1982. The new journal was about to get off the ground, yet it did not appear real: `A journal like this one has always been a pipe dream. Several years ago Monica Morgan, Friends of the National Zoo, Helen Freeman and myself got together during a zoo meeting and discussed this subject enthusiastically. Later, on other occasions, other colleagues and I talked about it. Each time we came to realize that there was an obstacle; how can we get zoo folks to write research papers? I have heard comments from several people that the subscription fee ($70 per year) is too high. But I do not believe money is the problem. Staffing is not the problem, either. As correspondence with many a key AAZPA official reveals, lack of cooperation will be the problem.'
My letter carried on to complain about the quality of the material that I had just reviewed, expressed the need for a broader basis for support, and concluded: `I would like to think that a couple of years from now, we can look back and say to each other that after all, we did not have to worry about it, that we now have a solid foundation which we are proud of. We will see.' It still did not dawn on me that the birth of the research journal was now imminent. Soon, however, the premier issue of Zoo Biology was on its way to us, with the scent of ink still fresh and strong.
Zoo Biology came into the picture when the proliferation in research departments was beginning to take place in zoos. This was evidenced by the fact that an increasing number of zoos developed formal research programs. The period that followed the birth of Zoo Biology saw both the growth of the journal and the wave of zoo research activities in North America. When the AAZPA Board met in March 1991 in Greensboro, North Carolina, at the initiative of Board member Dr Chris Wemmer, there was discussion regarding the draft agreement for Zoo Biology to become an official publication of the AAZPA (Wagner, 1991a). Subsequently, this was approved by the Board at the meeting in August of the same year in Florissant, Colorado (Wagner, 1991b). Thus, nearly a decade after its birth, the association of Zoo Biology with the mainstream American zoo community was completed.
[This paper was originally given as a spoken presentation at the AZA Western Regional Conference in El Paso, Texas, 58 April 2000.]
The author is grateful to Drs William Conway, Terry Maple and Robert Reece for critically reviewing the manuscript, and for making valuable suggestions.
Andrews, C. (1996): A `zoo' or an `aquarium'? AZA Communiqué (Aug.), p. 3.
Anon. (1966): Zoo associations and federations. International Zoo Yearbook 6: 384.
Anon. (1971): Zoologica open to zooaquarium articles. A.A.Z.P.A. Newsletter (Dec.), p. 11.
Anon. (1972): Zoologica. AAZPA Newsletter (Feb.).
Conway, W. (1973): Conservation research and the zoo: the programs of the New York Zoological Society. Paper presented at the AAZPA Annual Conference, Houston.
Conway, W. (1980): New conservation perspectives. AAZPA Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 3038.
Fisher, L.E. (1973): President's report. A.A.Z.P.A. Newsletter (Jan.), p. 1.
Foose, T.J. (1980): Demographic problems and management in captive populations. AAZPA Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 4668.
Hediger, H. (1964): Wild Animals in Captivity. Dover Publications, New York.
Maple, T.L. (1982): Toward a unified zoo biology. Zoo Biology 1: 13.
Meritt, D.A. (1980a): Species Survival Plan the first step. AAZPA Regional Workshop Proceedings, pp. 113115.
Meritt, D.A. (1980b): Species Survival Plan for AAZPA. AAZPA Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 6975.
National Academy of Sciences (1975): Research in Zoos and Aquariums. Washington, D.C.
Newman, M.A. (1994): Life in a Fishbowl. Douglas and McIntyre, Vancouver.
Rabb, G.B. (1973): American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums Annual Conference program, Houston, Texas, October 711, 1973. A.A.Z.P.A. Newsletter (Aug.), p. 1.
Ralls, K., Brugger, K., and Ballou, J. (1979): Inbreeding and juvenile mortality in small population of ungulates. Science 206: 11011103.
Robinson, M.H. (1990): Afterword. In Smithsonians New Zoo (ed. J. Page), pp. 198205. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
Seal, U.S. (1971): SEAMAK ZOOGAD Systems zoological data storage, retrieval and analysis systems. A.A.Z.P.A. Newsletter (Dec.), p. 8.
Snyder, R.L. (1974): Introduction. In Centennial Symposium on Science and Research, pp. 13. Philadelphia Zoo.
Wagner, R. (1991a): Minutes. AAZPA Communiqué (May), pp. 24.
Wagner, R. (1991b): Minutes. AAZPA Communiqué (Nov.), pp. 710.
Walter, E.J. (1974): Zoologica suspends publication. A.A.Z.P.A. Newsletter (May), p. 8.
Wemmer, C., and Thompson, S. (1995): A short history of scientific research in zoological gardens. In The Ark Evolving: Zoos and Aquariums in Transition (ed. C.M. Wemmer), pp. 7094. Conservation and Research Center, National Zoological Park, Front Royal.
Werler, J.E. (1974): From the vice-president. A.A.Z.P.A. Newsletter (Mar.), pp. 12.
Ken Kawata, General Curator, Staten Island Zoo, New York 103102896, U.S.A. (E-mail: KawataSIZ@aol.com)
* * *
LOST MENAGERIES WHY AND HOW ZOOS DISAPPEAR (Part 1)
BY HERMAN REICHENBACH
On 12 March 1991, the council of the Zoological Society of London voted to shut London Zoo down at the end of the summer. For ever. The zoo was running at a loss of £2m annually, £30m would be needed to fix things up, especially eight listed buildings, and at least another £30m to bring the gardens up to the standards of Europe's other capital zoos. `Animals face slaughter as London Zoo decides to close,' The Sunday Times cried out on page 1 of its 7 April issue to a surprised breakfast-eating public. `Closure rumours lure public to see threatened animals,' The Guardian reported the next day; `Up to 10,000 visitors streamed through the gates [that Sunday], braving the wind, the rain and the media.' Appeals were made, fund-raising started, and on 9 July the council of the ZSL postponed closure for another year at least. Eleven months, a new director and a million visitors later, with neither a government hand-out nor a white knight in sight, all but one of the council's 22 members again decided to close down the zoo after 30 September 1992, putting enthusiasts of Britain's oldest zoo on the rack. In response, however, a surge of visitors generated £500,000 revenue more than originally envisioned for the summer, a `Save Our Zoo' campaign collected £300,000, and a grateful Emir of Kuwait, recently liberated from the Iraqis, donated an additional £1m. Not the £30m that the society had wanted for a start, but enough to convince its council on 7 September to cancel closure after all.
Zoos, if defined, as in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, as `place[s] where wild animals and, in some instances, domesticated animals are exhibited in captivity', have been a permanent fixture of urban society for at least four thousand years. It is thus neither surprising nor remarkable that zoos have disappeared over time after all, whole cities, states and indeed peoples have disappeared as well. If, however, one defines a zoo as the Oxford English Dictionary does, as `The Zoological Gardens in Regent's Park, London; also extended to similar collections of animals elsewhere', then the loss of zoological gardens, that is, of urban menageries devoted to the promotion of science, public education and conservation as well as merely offering a diversion, is a more unusual and noteworthy phenomenon.
The Zoological Gardens of London are not the oldest of existing zoos. Vienna's Tiergarten Schönbrunn, inaugurated in 1752, unquestionably holds that honour; the Paris Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes, established in 1793, is the second-oldest zoo. The Tiergarten (`animal garden'), known officially by the French loan-word Menagerie until 1924, was one of the last to be established in the mediaeval through baroque tradition of private wild-animal collections of princes and kings. The Paris Ménagerie was the first genuinely scientifically-oriented garden, the first one to be directed by a naturalist, and it can thus lay a legitimate claim to be the first modern zoo. London Zoo, launched in 1828, is the third-oldest extant `place where wild animals are exhibited in captivity', the first, however, to be called a `zoological garden' and, after 1829, when land on the opposite side of the road fronting the main gate was acquired, in the plural form `zoological gardens'. The short form `zoo', now universally popular in most European languages, is of course a corruption of `zoological gardens', although it was apparently first coined, at least in print, in 1847 in a reference to the gardens of the Bristol, Clifton and West of England Zoological Society. [To be precise, London Zoo was initially known as the Garden[s] and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London; the term `zoological gardens' was itself a form of short-hand apparently first used in print in a guide-book in 1829 (Blunt, 1976; OED, 2nd ed., 1989, Vol. 20).]
Two centuries ago, Vienna, Paris and London were Europe's three major capitals. In the 35 years between the establishment of the Paris Ménagerie and London Zoo, royal menageries were installed in Madrid (1774) and Berlin (1802), since replaced by `real' zoological gardens in 1972 and 1844 respectively. The British capital itself had a royal menagerie, founded in the 13th century, in the Tower of London; that institution was closed down only in 1832. Many provincial towns had menageries associated with road-houses, the early-19th-century equivalent of America's notorious `road-side zoos'. One in Hamburg established in 1841 was apparently the first in German-speaking Europe to name itself a `zoological garden' (zoologischer Garten). The tavern with which it was associated was called `Zum letzten Heller', which translates roughly as `On your last penny' an appropriate name, as the menagerie lasted only a year or two. Most Europeans in the early 19th century saw exotic animals, however, in travelling menageries. London Zoo's historical importance, other than having been for a century perhaps the, certainly one of the, most prestigious zoos in the world, is that, to use a metaphor, it got the ball rolling. Within 20 years of London Zoo's inauguration, in Britain alone a dozen zoos were established. Of these, those at Dublin (now in the Republic of Ireland, of course) and Bristol are still going strong, but the others have all since disappeared, although one, Manchester's Belle Vue Zoo Park, survived for over 140 years. In the Netherlands, Amsterdam, and in Belgium, Antwerp opened zoos modelled after London's in 1838 and 1843 respectively; the model being the organization of a zoological society to initiate and manage the zoo. The two largest cities in France after Paris, Marseille and Lyon, installed zoological gardens in 1855 and 1858 respectively. The Zoological Society of London was also the model for the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1859 to establish the first genuine zoological garden in the Americas.
It is impossible to say how many zoos there are today, as dictionaries and encyclopaedias see above have yet to agree on what precisely constitutes a zoo in the first place. But it is fair to say that there are more zoos worldwide now than at any time in history. The Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, for example, has over 160 members. For the mid-1960s, the International Zoo Yearbook counts only 20 zoos in China (not including Hong Kong and Taiwan). Ninety years ago, there were apparently only three; at least Loisel (1912) and Knauer (1914) list no more. The Japanese Association of Zoological Gardens and Aquaria has approximately 90 member zoos (in addition to over 60 aquaria and specialist collections). Kawata (2001) lists for the mid-1960s 40 zoos in Japan, and before World War I four.
The United Kingdom and Ireland have almost 60 zoos, according to Quantum Verzeichnis 2001, and that again does not include aquaria, bird parks and other specialist collections; of these some 40 are member institutions of the National Federation of Zoological Gardens. Keeling (2001) tallies approximately 40 zoos in Britain and Ireland for the mid-1960s, but only a dozen in 1910, three of which disappeared in that one year. Between 1965 and 2000, 17 British zoos closed down; between 1911 and 1964, 11, all but four of which had only been founded during that 54-year stretch. Of Britain's nine cities with at least 400,000 population, only London, Glasgow and Edinburgh now have zoos. Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool have lost theirs; Sheffield and Bradford apparently never had one.
The seats of government of the Netherlands and Belgium, too, have lost their zoos, and Belgium within the last century had at least eight which are no longer in existence. Germany boasts some 140 zoological gardens today (43 in the Association of German Zoos, VDZ), and at least as many zoos again specializing in European wildlife or birds. For 1965, the International Zoo Yearbook catalogues 42; Knauer (1914) lists and describes 25 zoological gardens in a much bigger Germany, including zoos now in France, Poland and Russia. Only one major German city, Essen, has never had a zoo (although there are aviaries in its botanical garden), and only three others, Bremen, Düsseldorf and Kassel, have lost zoos never to see them replaced. The statistics for the various countries and time spans may be only crudely comparable, but the trend is obvious: zoological gardens are still what one could call a growth industry. The failure of zoos, especially in large conurbations, is the exception. The fate of six representative `lost' zoos, two each in major cities of Great Britain, the Low Countries and Germany, illustrate well the environment and circumstances that can lead to the loss of zoological gardens.
Great Britain: Liverpool and Manchester
Manchester, the cradle of the Industrial Revolution, and Liverpool, Britain's largest port a century and a half ago, were ideal sites for the early establishment of zoological gardens. Both cities, in Lancashire in north-western England only 50 kilometres (30 miles) apart, were growing rapidly, with a populace keen on outings with at least an illusion of nature. Liverpool was England's second-largest city middle of the 19th century, having grown from 83,000 in 1801 to 376,000 in 1851. [Population figures and other background information on cities referred to in this article have been culled from various editions of the German encyclopaedias Brockhaus and Meyer, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th ed., and the Columbia Encyclopedia, 5th ed.] As a port city, Liverpool had the additional advantage of a flourishing wild-animal trade, and exotic pets brought in by seamen frequently found their way into the next available zoo if not bought up first by animal dealers. The city during the last 170 years was the site of half a dozen zoos or at least small menageries open to the public, the historically most important of which was Liverpool's first zoo.
The `Liverpool Zoological Gardens', as the institution was called, were inaugurated in 1833, advertised as `the first of the kind formed in this kingdom, except the London Gardens' (Keeling, 1984, p. 25). That was not quite true: Dublin (when Ireland was still a component of the United Kingdom) had a zoological garden established in 1831. In that same year, on a five-hectare [13-acre] site at Kennington, Surrey (in today's London S.E. 17), Edward Cross, the proprietor since 1817 of a menagerie near what is now Trafalgar Square, opened his new Surrey Zoological and Botanical Gardens. These were actually closer to the City of London than Regent's Park, but survived London Zoo's competition only until 1856, twelve years after Cross's retirement. The Liverpool Zoological Gardens lasted only seven years longer.
The founder and first proprietor of Liverpool's new zoo was Thomas Atkins, the owner of a travelling menagerie. Settling down, he purchased four hectares [ten acres] of disused and flooded clay-pits half an hour's walk from the Liverpool exchange for £2,000 in 1832. One water-logged pit was fenced in for waterfowl, others were filled in, lawns were laid out and trees and shrubs planted. What little is known of Atkins's enterprise is due largely to his advertisements and to his informative guide-books. Upon paying entrance (a shilling; £1.1.0 for an annual pass), the waterfowl and wading-birds pond was the first exhibit to come to view a device still widely seen in zoos, especially in central Europe. The next exhibits were the bear pits, with a collection unthinkable in a British zoo today: polar, sloth, spectacled, European brown and North American black bears. From here one had a panoramic view of the gardens on a sloping landscape. On his four hectares Atkins also found space for an elephant house with three Indian elephants by his second year, a `menagerie' for big cats and a second for hyenas, jackals and the like, a monkey house, an `eyry' for birds-of-prey, vultures and owls, a pheasantry and other aviaries. [A `menagerie' in mid-19th-century Britain could be a lion or other carnivore house as well as a wild-animal collection in general.] Before the exit, one came across the ungulate house with antelopes, deer, camelids, tapirs, zebras and if the animal was correctly identified a specimen of the now extinct quagga. Atkins, however, continued to exhibit animals on the road as well, so not everything in the guide-book would necessarily be in the zoo on one's visit.
One remarkable animal frequently on show elsewhere in Britain was a bull rhinoceros that Atkins had purchased in 1834 for £1,000 that is, half as much as he had paid for the whole of the zoo's grounds. Shipped in from Calcutta, it was exhibited in Dublin, Glasgow and Edinburgh as well as in Liverpool itself as an Indian rhinoceros, although it appears in fact to have been a specimen of the exceedingly rare Javan rhinoceros, one of at most half a dozen specimens ever seen alive in Europe; a one-month stay in 1835 at Dublin Zoo alone brought in £140 and a llama. [Sclater (1876) and Reynolds (1961), among others, both consider(ed) the specimen to be Javan. Rookmaaker (1993) disputes the classification for various reasons; the `Javan school' based its judgement largely on two illustrations of the animal published by Jardine (1836), plates 8 and 9, where it was also identified as an Indian rhinoceros (p. 171). Javan rhinoceroses at the time, however, were not yet known to inhabit eastern Bengal and Burma, so all rhinoceroses coming out of Calcutta, such as the Liverpool specimen, were considered to be Indian which in a way they were.]
Hybrids between a tigress and a lion were a speciality of Atkins. Modern zoo directors would only frown at the idea of breeding such bastards, but the public were not averse to viewing zoological freaks a century and a half ago (and can occasionally be attracted even now to such animals, as witness a certain popularity of white tigers and white alligators). The first such animals ever bred in a zoological garden were apparently two `lion-tigers' born in Liverpool on 19 July 1833, but Atkins first bred specimens as early as 1824 in his travelling menagerie whilst in Windsor.
The zoo historian Clinton H. Keeling has remarked (1984, p. 15) that `people, rather than site or housing or conditions and circumstances, make, or mar, a zoological garden.' The dictum certainly applies to the Liverpool gardens. Atkins left the stage in the 1850s whether by death or retirement, let alone exactly when, has yet to be recorded and decay soon set in. The zoo became a share-holding company with an initial capital of £10,000 in December, 1859, with the incorporation of the Liverpool Zoological Gardens Co. Ltd. To boost public interest, drinking booths were installed in the zoo, but they attracted a clientele presumably anathema to Liverpool's more fashionable society, a vicious circle soon set in, and in 1863 the company was bankrupt. The collection was absorbed into Liverpool's wild-animal trade.
Manchester at mid-century was England's third-largest city, having grown from 70,000 in 1801 to 303,000 population by 1851; 40 years later, having bypassed Liverpool and Glasgow with 704,000 inhabitants, it had become Britain's second city. The first passenger rail service between two cities linked Liverpool with Manchester in 1830. The `Manchester Zoological Gardens' were inaugurated on 31 May 1838, the year Manchester was incorporated as a borough, on six hectares [15 acres] in Higher Broughton, a 30 to 40 minutes' walk north-west of the Manchester exchange. Unlike the Liverpool Zoological Gardens, the new zoo in Manchester looked to London as a model not only for its name, but for its organizational structure, goals and ideals as well. On the initiative of the 13th Earl of Derby, a zoological society was organized in 1836, albeit as a joint-stock corporation with 1,800 share-holders, many of them members of the local peerage and gentry, generous with gifts. The 5th Duke of Portland released his horticulturist to become head gardener; head keeper was Harry Richardson, once in Edward Cross's pay as keeper in his London menagerie. The gardens were designed by Richard Forrest, who had three years earlier planned the landscape of Bristol Zoo.
The Manchester Zoological Gardens were designed to promote science and education, in marked contrast to the menagerie and pleasure gardens of Belle Vue on the opposite side of central Manchester. Just beyond the entrance was a 230-metre-long central lake, around which were grouped bear pits, a separate polar-bear den and bath, a `menagerie', an elephant house, a monkey house, various aviaries, flower beds and a geological museum. The only `amusements', both of a decidedly upper-class character, were an archery ground and a maze. In its first six months the zoo attracted 42,000 visitors and made a £2,100 profit. Four years later it was bankrupt. To paraphrase a German expression, the Manchester Zoological Gardens had jumped off like a tiger, only to land as a rug.
Longevity at the Manchester gardens was apparently quite good. A grandson of John Jennison, the proprietor of the local competitor at Belle Vue, remarked years later that `from 31st May, 1838, when the gardens were officially opened, until 23rd November, 1842, when sale by auction dispersed the collection, scarcely anything died. . . Why [then] did this wonderful garden fail? It failed as all zoological gardens fail that have no other attractions. Science is an interest of the few; curiosity is soon satisfied. From the very first the downward trend began' (Keeling, 1984, p. 44).
Whether that attitude is true for zoos in general is still in dispute, although few zoos appear to be viable without taxpayers' support unless they can draw on benefactors. In the case of Manchester, the proprietor of Belle Vue would be vindicated at least throughout his lifetime and those of his grandsons. £20,000 had been spent on the Manchester gardens over four years; in the end the directors and shareholders lost everything. Well, almost everything: the Earl of Derby and other benefactors at least got back some animals that they had donated to the gardens. Jennison profited little from the auction; in bankruptcy proceedings himself at the time, he had no money to buy animals, although he may have received some unsaleable smaller beasts as a gift. Paying off at least one debtor with beer brewed on his premises, and loosing a freehold he held on another site, with a new loan Jennison managed to stave off bankruptcy himself and develop Belle Vue into the zoo of Manchester.
Belle Vue Zoological Gardens, or as it was known towards the end of its run, Zoo Park, were established by the gardener John Jennison on what was once a lime quarry five kilometres (three miles) south-east of central Manchester in 1836, two years before the inauguration of the Manchester Zoological Gardens. Jennison had originally opened what he called the Strawberry Gardens at nearby Adswood by Stockport in 1826, adding aviaries two or three years later. The 1,500-square-metre site could not be expanded, however, and Jennison took an originally 99-year lease at £135 per annum on 14 hectares [35 acres] on a new road leading from Manchester out to Hyde. The name Belle Vue had been coined for a public house built on the site some 15 years earlier. Five hectares [13 acres] Jennison initially left as pasture, another eight hectares [20 acres] for rabbit coursing, the fox hunt of the middle classes. `Belle Vue Gardens', as Jennison's venture was called at the beginning, were limited to the public house, aviaries and a zoological shed for small mammals measuring ten metres by 21. The local church complained to Jennison that he sold alcoholic beverages even on Sunday mornings to attract visitors, to which he is said to have replied: `I am like thee I make my living on Sundays' (Nicholls, 1992, p. 5).
Having survived the bankruptcy proceedings of 1842, and benefiting from the collapse of the Manchester Zoological Gardens, Belle Vue began to thrive. With the inauguration of a new station nearby in May 1842, Belle Vue was to become a popular destination for railway outings from central Manchester, by 1855 attracting 60,000 annually on excursion tickets alone. The first guide-book to what were now called the Zoological Gardens, Belle Vue, was published in 1847. The collection still consisted mostly of birds largely from South America but also featured dingo and mongoose, rhesus macaques and Armenian monkeys (whatever they are), red and fallow deer, and an armadillo. A new entrance was completed in 1850, built of stone to resemble the nearby Manchester gaol a fitting entrance, critics of zoos might have thought even then. On an island in a small lake a museum of natural history, that is, of stuffed birds and mammals, had been built. The museum was removed to the upper floor of a new building near the entrance in 1850, and the house on the island refurnished to exhibit, of all things, a model of Hobart, capital of Tasmania. Jennison had begun in earnest to diversify, taking to heart what his grandson and he had perceived to be the basic failure of the Manchester Zoological Gardens: to concentrate on exhibiting animals only. Inspired by London's Great Exhibition of 1851, Jennison invested in new fireworks displays, constructing a gallery for 4,000 spectators. Fireworks would remain a major feature of Belle Vue for decades, as would the brass-band concerts which began in 1853.
The zoological section remained the heart of Belle Vue, however. A `monster monkey cage' covering 500 square metres and six and half metres high was completed in 1850. In 1851, Jennison bought kangaroos, porcupines and yaks from the dispersed private menagerie of the Earl of Derby. A new house for hoofed stock and bear pits were built in 1853. Belle Vue bought its first elephant in 1860 and its first (four) giraffes in 1871. In 1881, a new monkey house was completed in mock Moorish style, described by the `zoo Baedeker' Charles Peel in 1903 (p. 202) as `the boast of the gardens and the finest in Europe'. The Jennisons introduced what would later be called behavioural enrichment features, including a `village pump and draw well' (that is, an elevator to draw corn) in the large central cage, running wheels and rocking-horses.
Jennison was always keen to keep Belle Vue as self-sufficient as practically possible. The zoo grew its own vegetables, brewed its own beer, baked its own bread, biscuits and gateaux, collected ice in ponds and the lake in the winter and stored it in ice houses for the summer, maintained its own brickworks and gas and later electricity works, printed its own guide-books and tickets, and hired its own smiths, tinners and braziers. Labour was cheap in Victorian Britain.
Jennison and his four sons, who inherited Belle Vue upon the founder's death in 1869, continued to buy adjacent plots as land became available, until by 1905 Belle Vue encompassed 28 hectares [68 acres], of which, however, only half were ever devoted to the animal section. Another 17 hectares [42 acres] freehold and 23 hectares [58 acres] leasehold had been acquired outside Belle Vue's perimeter walls, including hotels and housing for staff.
The two decades around the turn of the century were considered in hindsight to have been Belle Vue's heyday. In a Report on Mission to Europe to the Government of Egypt in 1906 (pp. 24 ff.), Stanley S. Flower, the director of the Giza Zoological Gardens, Cairo, described Belle Vue as
`in some ways the most interesting [zoological gardens] in Europe . . . [developed] on original and practical lines. . . The Lion House . . . contains perhaps the finest indoor cages of any Zoological Gardens of Europe. . . The Reptile House is however the most remarkable building here for ingenuity and exhibition purposes . . . The monkey collection is excellent . . . The adult male Drill is probably the finest individual monkey living in captivity in Europe, and alone worth a visit to Manchester. . .'
Considering that the visitor had come all the way from Egypt, that must have been quite some drill!
Although zoos in Britain did not suffer the losses of those of Germany and Austria-Hungary during World War I, Belle Vue did lose many keepers and workmen to the war effort, replaced by originally unskilled women. The fireworks displays celebrated patriotic themes, like `The battle of the Marne' and `The fight for liberty', but for a time the public were admitted on weekends only. With the death of Richard Jennison in 1919, the last of the founder's sons passed away; John Jennison & Co. Ltd were established with the grandsons now in proprietorship. In late 1924, they sold the company to a consortium vested in Sir William Benjamin Gentle, retired chief constable of Brighton, Captain James Philip Hodge, a lawyer with financial interests, and John Henry Iles, the inheritor of a Bristol timber fortune involved for years in the design and development of fairgrounds and amusement parks. With them the rot set in.
Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd was incorporated in 1925 with Gentle as chairman. His priority was to establish Britain's first purpose-built greyhound course on land owned by Belle Vue opposite the zoo grounds; in 1928 he resigned to become chairman of the Greyhound Racing Association. Iles succeeded him as chairman, cutting corners where he could while investing in new, mostly non-zoological attractions. By 1931, he had shut down the electrical works, brewery and printing presses, scaled back the bakery, sold off a hotel, and fired a good part of the staff, stripping those remaining of their privileges. The Great Depression had set in. Speedway racing was introduced in 1928, boxing matches in 1929 and wrestling in 1930.
As the guide-books demonstrate, however, Belle Vue was still considered a zoo, and occasional polls indicate that until the end most visitors came there primarily to see the animals. In 1933, Iles hired his 21-year-old nephew as superintendent of the zoological section. Although not a trained zoologist, Gerald Iles was the first at Belle Vue to have taken at least some university courses. A clever publicist, he established for himself and his animal collection a good reputation. In 1957, he left England to become director of a new 160-hectare (400-acre) zoo in Montreal an institution, unfortunately, that never got past the children's-zoo stage. John Henry Iles resigned as chairman and managing director in 1937, declaring personal bankruptcy after burying £250,000 in a film studio. His successor as chairman was his son H.F.B. (`Eric') Iles, first cousin of Gerald.
With the outbreak of World War II, acres of Belle Vue were requisitioned by the armed forces. It was soon flooded with animals from small menageries forced to close for economic reasons early in the conflict, while feeding the animals, especially with imported fruit and fresh fish, proved ever more difficult as the war dragged on. Penguins and birds of paradise were among the first victims. No bombs fell on the zoo, but a bison was killed by shell splinters from anti-aircraft fire. Belle Vue was promoted as a war-time entertainment centre, however, and profits at Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd rose after 1941. A record attendance of almost 180,000 visitors were booked on Easter Monday, 1944, and 173,000 on Easter Monday, 1945. In December, 1944, the local Labour party suggested appropriating Belle Vue and transforming it into `the Regent's Park of the North', that is, into a scientifically oriented rather than a commercial zoo, but nothing came of the idea unfortunately, as many would later lament with hindsight.
Profits began to decline in the early 1950s when the post-war boom lost steam. Investment failed to keep pace with the deterioration of Belle Vue's older structures, and crime, particularly vandalism, became a serious problem. In 1956, Belle Vue (Manchester) Ltd was acquired by Sir Leslie Joseph and Charles Forte. Eric Iles remained chairman, but only a nominal share-holder. Joseph, the new managing director, had been president of the Association of Amusement Park Proprietors from 1940 until 1946; Forte had made his fortune in catering. The trend was obvious. Among their initial investments at Belle Vue were Louis Tussaud's waxworks installed in the former leopard house, and the Bavaria Banqueting Suite. While the cost of feeding the animals had increased ten-fold since 1939, the price of admission had only doubled, and Gerald Iles was ordered to cut costs caring for his charges. Happy then to leave for Montreal, he was succeeded as superintendent by William Wilson, a member of a well-established Glasgow family of animal dealers. Wilson's initial year began under a dark cloud: for the first time, the attendance at Chester Zoo in nearby Cheshire, founded only in 1931, surpassed that of Belle Vue. The growing popularity of motor-cars for excursions was certainly one of the reasons. Wilson stayed on only until 1962, to be succeeded by Raymond Legge, a past superintendent of Chester Zoo and curator at the Blackpool Tower Aquarium and Zoo. In Manchester, the great ape house and a new aquarium and reptile house were the first buildings completed under his administration. But Legge also had to tolerate the inauguration of `Dodge City', an imitation U.S. Western town with mock show-downs, in 1963. `Gunsmoke' was at the height of its popularity.
Belle Vue continued to provide its shareholders with good profits into the early 1960s. Forte bought out Joseph and the minority shareholders by the end of 1962, and Belle Vue was incorporated into what would become the Trust House Forte group. Attendance, however, then dropped throughout the decade. Although the animal collection and breeding record remained good, the older buildings, many still dating from the previous century, were anything but impressive. Two-thirds of the work-maintenance department were sent off in 1969, and repairs then kept to a minimum. Competition increased, on the other hand, with the opening of Knowsley Safari Park and the municipal Blackpool Zoo, both also in Lancashire, in the early 1970s. Forte offered to sell his zoo, while keeping the amusement park concentrated on the other side of a fence, to the corporation of Manchester in 1971, but the city wanted the whole site now for council housing, something he did not want to agree to at the time. Attendance did pick up in the mid-1970s thanks to some nice summers, but profits continued to decline, not least because of the sharp rise in heating costs following the international oil crisis of 1973.
Forte felt that the amusement park could no longer afford to subsidize the animal section, and at 10 a.m. on 4 August 1977 the BBC announced the closure of Britain's third-oldest zoo for 11 September, the end of the school holidays. The 24 keepers had been informed of the fact only an hour earlier. The zoo actually remained open until November, and a pets' corner was maintained in the summer of 1978, while animals continued to be sold off. Belle Vue's last inhabitant, the 15-year-old elephant Ellie May, was put down in February 1979 after she refused to board a transport case that would have taken her to Rotterdam Zoo. The amusement park was finally shut down on 26 October 1980. The site of Belle Vue, for over a century one of Britain's premier zoos and the closest equivalent 19th- and early 20th-century Europe would have to today's trendy zoological cum amusement parks, Busch Gardens and Disney's Animal Kingdom, is now buried under a housing estate after all, cinemas and a car-auction centre. All that's left of Belle Vue Zoo Park are various stuffed animals and skeletons in the Manchester Museum.
In the next issue of I.Z.N.: The lost zoos of Brussels and The Hague, Düsseldorf and Hamburg.
References and sources
Barnaby, D. (1991): The elephants of Belle Vue, Part 1 1860 to c. 1900. Bartlett Society Journal 2: 1824.
Blunt, W. (1976): The Ark in the Park The Zoo in the Nineteenth Century. Hamish Hamilton, London.
Brown, P., and Mullin, J. (1991): Last ditch appeal to ministers to save London Zoo. The Guardian (London), 8 April, p. 24.
Flower, S.S. (1906): Report on Mission to Europe, 1905. Government of Egypt, Public Works Department, Cairo.
Flower, S.S. (1908): Notes on Zoological Collections Visited in Europe, 1907. Government of Egypt, Public Works Department, Cairo.
International Zoo Yearbook, Vols. 1 ff. (1960 ff.). Zoological Society of London.
Jardine, W. (1836): The Naturalist's Library Mammalia, Vol. 5. W.H. Lizars, Edinburgh.
Kawata, K. (2001): Zoological gardens of Japan. In Zoo and Aquarium History Ancient Animal Collections to Zoological Gardens (ed. V.N. Kisling, Jnr), pp. 295330, 384387. CRC Press, Boca Raton (Florida).
Keeling, C.H. (1984): Where the Lion Trod A Study of Forgotten Zoological Gardens. Clam Publications, Shalford (Surrey), U.K.
Keeling, C.H. (1987): The Life and Death of Belle Vue, 2nd ed. Clam Publications, Shalford (Surrey), U.K.
Keeling, C.H. (2001): The zoological gardens of Great Britain. In Zoo and Aquarium History From Ancient Animal Collections to Zoological Gardens (ed. V.N. Kisling, Jnr), pp. 4974, 369371. CRC Press, Boca Raton (Florida).
Knauer, F. (1914): Der zoologische Garten Entwicklungsgang, Anlage und Betrieb unserer Tiergärten. Theodor Thomas, Leipzig.
Loisel, G. (1912): Histoire des ménageries de l'antiquité à nos jours. Doins/Laurens, Paris.
Lydekker, R. (1896): A Hand-Book to the Carnivora, Part 1 Cats, Civets, and Mongooses. Edward Lloyd, London.
McCarthy, M. (1991): London Zoo given a year's reprieve. The Times (London), 10 July, p. 1.
Nicholls, R. (1989): Looking Back at Belle Vue, Manchester. Willow, Altrincham (Cheshire).
Nicholls, R. (1992): The Belle Vue Story. Neil Richardson, Manchester.
Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed. (1989). Clarendon Press, Oxford.
Peel, C.V.A. (1903): The Zoological Gardens of Europe Their History and Chief Features. F.E. Robinson, London.
Perron, R., ed. (2001): Quantum Verzeichnis 2001. Klaus Schüling, Münster (Westfalen).
Randall, J. (1991): Animals face slaughter as London Zoo decides to close. The Sunday Times (London), 7 April, p. 1.
Reynolds, R.J., III (1961): Asian rhinos in captivity. In International Zoo Yearbook Vol. 2 (eds. C. Jarvis and D. Morris), pp. 1742. Zoological Society of London.
Rieke-Müller, A., and Dittrich, L. (1998): Der Löwe brüllt nebenan Die Gründung zoologischer Gärten im deutschsprachigen Raum 18331869. Böhlau, Cologne.
Rookmaaker, L.C. (1993): The mysterious `Liverpool rhinoceros'. Der Zoologische Garten, N.F. 63: 246258.
Ryan, S. (1992): Beastly shame. The Sunday Times (London), 21 June, p. 9.
Schmitz, A., and Metzger, A. (2000): Zoologische Gärten als Kapitalgesellschaften Geschichtliche Entwicklung und Finanzierung. Antik Effekten, Frankfurt (Main).
Sclater, P.L. (1876): On the rhinoceroses now or lately living in the Society's menagerie. Transactions of the Zoological Society of London 9: 645660.
Solski, L., and Jiménez de Cisneros y Baudín, M.M. (2001): Zoo-Aquarium de Madrid. In Encyclopedia of the World's Zoos (ed. C. Bell), pp. 13791381. Fitzroy-Dearborn, Chicago.
Strehlow, H. (2001): Zoological gardens of western Europe. In Zoo and Aquarium History From Ancient Animal Collections to Zoological Gardens (ed. V.N. Kisling, Jnr), pp. 74116, 371373. CRC Press, Boca Raton (Florida).
Wang Binghao, ed. (1995): Zoos Allover [sic] China. Chinese Association of Zoological Gardens, Beijing.
Watt, N. (1992): London Zoo's council drops its decision to close. The Times (London), 8 September, p. 2.
Watts, S. (1992): Zoological Society `faced with no choice'. The Independent (London), 18 June, p. 3.
Herman Reichenbach, Paul-Sorge-Strasse 74, 22459 Hamburg, Germany (E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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LETTER TO THE EDITOR
I found A.C. van Bruggen's review of okapi captive history (I.Z.N. 313, 504510) extremely impressive. In a footnote (p. 507), Dr van Bruggen mentions the possible presence of okapi in Japan, and readers might be interested in an update on this.
A pair of okapi arrived in Japan on 20 October 1997 and were delivered to Yokohama Zoological Garden on 5 November. The female, Layla, was born on 22 July 1996 at Dallas Zoo and the male, Kianga, was born on 7 May 1996 at San Diego Wild Animal Park. These were the first of the species to land on Japanese soil.
A note in Animals and Zoos, Tokyo Zoological Park Society's monthly magazine (No. 613, April 2001, p. 22), reveals that a female was born to this Yokohama pair on 21 November 2000. The calf, raised by the mother, was doing well at the age of three months; the report gave some data on body weight.
Animals and Zoos No. 618, September 2001, has a detailed account (pp. 1216), with photos, about the transfer of a four-year-old female from San Diego to Tokyo. She arrived at Narita airport on 21 May 2001, and entered Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, on 6 June. Thus, to the best of my knowledge, as of the end of 2001 there were four okapi in Japan.
Staten Island Zoo,
New York 103102896,
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THE NEW ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MAMMALS edited by David Macdonald. Oxford University Press, 2001. xxxi + 930 pp., hardback. ISBN 0198508239. £35.00.
For almost two decades following its appearance in 1984, David Macdonald's Encyclopedia of Mammals was the first book many of us turned to when searching for information on any mammalian topic. It was in many ways a ground-breaking work less comprehensive, perhaps, than Walker's Mammals of the World or Grzimek's Animal Life Encyclopedia (though perfectly adequate for all but the most specialist purposes), but immeasurably more user-friendly than either. Here at last was a serious reference source which was entertaining enough to browse through for pure pleasure. My copy, worn out by years of service, with its split spine and disintegrating dust-jacket, must be replicated on the shelves of many of I.Z.N.'s readers.
Now, at last, that copy can go into honourable retirement. The New Encyclopedia of Mammals is much more than just a revised edition of the earlier work. It is a completely new book. Reassuringly, though, it retains the familiar look of its predecessor. Here, indeed, no change was needed to what remains a winning formula colour on almost every page, an eye-catching blend of photos and painted or drawn artwork, and `boxed' sections to give special treatment to important topics which would disrupt the flow of the main text. (A few random examples of these topics will hint at the book's wide-ranging interests Europe's Wolves Stage a Comeback, Why do Walruses have Tusks?, Lemur Dialects, Why Primates Kill their Young, Tenrec Body Temperature, Managing Bison in Yellowstone, Hedgehogs and Adders. . .)
The changes, then, are primarily to the content. Recent decades have seen an accelerating growth in zoological knowledge, for example in the fields of evolution, social organization and taxonomy, and the New Encyclopedia presents this knowledge in a form accessible to an interested non-specialist readership. To test how up-to-date the book is, I tried looking up a few species discovered in the 1990s. The black-faced lion tamarin (described in 1990), pygmy beaked whale (1991), saola (1992) and giant muntjac (1994) are all here. Taxonomic revisions take longer to work their way through into the reference books; but e.g. the six bush babies of the original edition have increased to 17 in the present volume, with a succinct explanation of the research that has led to the change, and a hint that there may be further revisions yet to come.
Where taxonomic rethinking would affect the actual arrangement of the contents, editors of zoological books have a difficult course to steer. The 1990s have seen two monumental reclassifications of the Mammalia, Wilson and Reeder's Mammal Species of the World (1993) and McKenna and Bell's Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level (1997). Unfortunately, the differences between the two make any synthesis currently impossible, and in any case further research, especially in the fields of molecular biology and phylogenetic analysis, are certain to render both of them obsolete in a relatively short time. Meanwhile, Dr Macdonald opts in general to follow Wilson and Reeder, while frequently making it clear in particular instances that they do not represent the last word on classification.
David Macdonald is one of that valuable group of professional scientists with the gift of explaining their specialities to a general readership in a vivid and comprehensible manner. In The New Encyclopedia of Mammals he has somehow managed to transmit this talent to his team of almost 300 contributors, many of them top names in their own fields. `The best way to convey the excitement of discovery,' he writes in his preface, `is through the discoverers, and for this reason the book is written by the researchers themselves.' This ensures that the Encyclopedia is not merely accurate and up-to-date, but also full of the excitement that comes from vicarious participation in the growth of zoological knowledge. If you buy only one animal book this year, The New Encyclopedia of Mammals should be the one. I confidently predict that you will still be using it, and learning from it, ten or even twenty years from now.
Other items received
Quantum Verzeichnis 2002 (Directory of European zoos and conservation-orientated organisations). This year the Directory and its accompanying CD-Rom are bigger and better than ever, almost a complete library in themselves, and yet they remain compact and handy. This is the very best available list of European zoos and contact addresses available. The CD-Rom makes searches both quick and effective. A must for anyone who has dealings with, or an interest in, European zoos. Every zoo should have a copy! To order, visit www.quantum-conservation.org/orderqv.html.
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Mammals of Europe by David Macdonald and Priscilla Barrett. Princeton University Press, 2002. 312 pp., 64 colour plates, hardback. $24.95. This book, in the Princeton Field Guides series, was originally published by HarperCollins in 1993 as Collins Field Guide to the Mammals of Britain and Europe. The original book was reviewed in I.Z.N. 41 (2), pp. 4647. It contains very detailed descriptions of over 200 species (including all well-established exotic introductions), with good colour illustrations, numerous line drawings and clear distribution maps.
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Caratinga is a CD of lush, neotropical soundscapes from the Caratinga Biological Station in Brazil's disappearing Atlantic Rainforest. The CD features 64 minutes of natural recordings, which explore the rich acoustic ecology of the area. Extended tracks include intimate portraits of the daily lives of primates, focusing on the endangered muriqui or woolly spider monkey (Brachyteles arachnoides), and also including howler monkeys, capuchins, marmosets, tree frogs, and many birds, creating a sonic overview of the cycle of day and night in the forest. Included with the CD is a 20-page illustrated booklet in Portuguese and English with detailed track notes, an introduction by Conservation International's president Russell Mittermeier, and an essay by anthropologist Karen B. Strier of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a leading authority on the muriqui.
The CD, produced by Conservation International for the benefit of the Caratinga Biological Station and issued by EarthEar, celebrates the creation of a formally designated private reserve at Caratinga, announced on 3 September 2001, thanks to the foresight of Senhor Feliciano Abdala, original owner and guardian of the forests, who died in 2000 at the age of 92. Half the revenues generated by sales of the CD will be directed to support the Station.
For more information, contact Jim Cummings, EarthEar (Phone: 0015054661879; Fax: 0015054664930; E-mail: email@example.com). The Caratinga CD may be ordered at 0018885643399 or EarthEar.com.
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Orang-utan rescue and release efforts
Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) is a non-profit organization headed by Dr Biruté Galdikas, a renowned primatologist working in Borneo for 30 years, and is dedicated to the rehabilitation of confiscated orang-utans that were held illegally in central Kalimantan, a part of Indonesian Borneo. In 2001, funds were awarded from the Conservation and Research Fund of San Diego's Center for Reproduction of Endangered Species (CRES) for a collaboration between CRES and OFI that involved the release of six adolescent orang-utans.
The rain forests of Borneo are disappearing at an alarming rate. This is of special concern because these forests are home not just to orang-utans, but also to eight other primate species, 28 species of large mammals, more than 220 species of birds, more than 600 species of trees, and over 200 known species of orchids. The 76,500-ha Lamandau Reserve was recently established by the Indonesian government on the recommendation of Dr Galdikas. The uniqueness of this area is that it is a forest recovering from selective logging and fire. Had the area not been set aside as a reserve, it would have been converted into a palm oil plantation and another section of orang-utan habitat would have been lost forever.
One aspect of the collaborative project was to prove that old logging concessions interspersed with relics of primary and secondary forest are viable habitat for ex-captive orangs. The aftermath of selective logging does not necessarily destroy forests, but alters forest structure, plant composition, and microclimate. A second task was to monitor the recovery of the forest from selective logging and fire, as well as conducting flora and fauna surveys of the area. Over time, if adequately protected, this patchy forest will return to continuous primary rain forest.
Finally, the most important element of the project was to ensure the well-being of the six adolescent apes once they were released. The Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine Facility (OCCQ) is the rehabilitation center run by OFI. Throughout Kalimantan, orangs being held as pets or abandoned by their `owners' are brought to rehabilitation centers by police and forestry officials. Most of the animals entering these centers are weak, malnourished, full of parasites, and usually very young. For every orang-utan brought to these centers, the mother is killed: the only way to capture a baby is to kill the mother. The rate at which these infant and juvenile animals are being brought to the centers is staggering. While we were there for a two-month period, more than nine orphans were brought in. This may seem like a small number, but the rate of release from the centers is far lower, primarily due to the lack of protected habitat. With the high admittance rate and the low release rate, it becomes clear that these rehabilitation centers are becoming overcrowded. The solution is to find suitable release sites that will support orang-utan populations and establish adequate protection from illegal logging and mining operations. Some of the project funds were used for the development of trails and bridges in the study site, which would make it possible for staff to follow young orangs after release and for further research projects to take place.
Six adolescent males at the OCCQ were selected for release into the Lamandau Reserve. Upon passing quarantine, the orangs are released daily into an adjacent forest, referred to as the `nursery forest', where they learn how to live independently. Field assistants and care staff accompany them on their daily excursions, and at the end of the day they return to their night quarters for dinner and sleep. These young males were approaching a critical period in the rehabilitation process, showing reluctance to return to the facility in the evening, and were ready for release. Behavioral observations were made on all six in quarantine prior to release, in the nursery forest, and during the post-release period in Lamandau. A behavioral ethogram was constructed before our arrival in Indonesia, based on observations at San Diego Zoo and in literature sources. Data was then collected in a field note journal format: travel companions, distance traveled, interactions with conspecifics, preferred food items, nesting height, and location were all recorded. After four weeks of tracking and recording behaviors, we were happy to see that all six youngsters were eating wild fruit and finding water, building night nests, and defending themselves from mature male orangs they met along the way. These were all the things each young male had to learn for himself in order to survive in the wild.
During the project, unexpected challenges arose. Illegal loggers were encountered in the study site during the survey, and measures had to be taken to protect the area before the six orangs could be released. A police patrol was sent out with forestry officials, and a police post was set up near the canal that borders the study site. Illegal logging and mining plague Indonesia's national parks and reserves, and OFI fights a constant battle in its efforts to save orang-utans from extinction in the wild. Some ecologists predict that if the current rate of deforestation continues, the jungles of Borneo will be gone by 2010 and orang-utans will no longer have a place to live free. Studies have proven that a steady research presence in reserves dramatically decreases the rate of illegal logging, mining, and poaching, which makes the presence of staff from OFI and CRES so essential.
The six young males are all now living free in the Lamandau Reserve as a result of the Zoological Society of San Diego's participation, which allowed these releases to happen at a faster rate. But saving orang-utans can only be accomplished if we also work to protect habitat, which in turn protects the rich biodiversity of this region and ensures a more secure future for hundreds of animal species.
Abridged from Laura Debnar in CRES Report (Spring 2002)
Kidnapping to save rare species
`Kidnapping' amorous males who hold a sexual monopoly over their peers may be the key to saving some endangered species. In some species, the top males fight to restrict access to females, preventing subordinate males from mating. This can help to pass on qualities such as strength to the next generation. But having only a few breeding males has its drawbacks. It limits genetic variety in the population, making it more vulnerable to sudden changes in the environment especially if numbers shrink. This has prompted Allison Alberts and colleagues at San Diego Zoo to propose a new method of conservation: temporarily kidnapping the dominant males. Removing them should give other males a chance to reproduce and maximise the genetic diversity of a population, giving it a better chance of surviving a new disease or a sudden change in climate.
As reported in the March 2002 issue of Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology [Vol. 51 (4): 324335], the team tested the idea on a population of Cuban iguanas (Cyclura nubila) at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. (These iguanas are not endangered, but many of their sister species are.) The researchers removed the five highest-ranking males for six weeks during the breeding season. Other males quickly seized their chance and began mating. When the dominant males were brought back they fought with the usurpers to regain supremacy.
`This is very much an emergency measure,' cautions Alberts. The scheme would be labour-intensive and costly. But most of the population would remain in the wild, sustaining the impetus to conserve the habitat.
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Build your own `virtual' zoo
Computer games may not be something in which readers of International Zoo News would usually take much interest I have certainly never had the inclination to play one but that may well change with the release of an extraordinary new game, Zoo Tycoon (Microsoft Computer Games). The game sees players build their own zoo. A budget is given, and with that budget players must build enclosures, furnish them correctly, buy animals, and ensure that visitors stay happy. Forget to build a drinks stand and you are swiftly informed that your visitors are thirsty and thus unhappy. Fail to provide your lions with the right kind of foliage and they will pine, look miserable and eventually die. Accidentally knock down a fence and those same lions will escape, tossing visitors into the air and causing a great deal of confusion. Get it right and the animals will thrive, and the visitors will flood in.
Zoo Tycoon offers an addictively entertaining and amusing way to waste an hour or three. Some thought has clearly been given to its design, and much of what happens within it rings true. There is something irrationally exciting about having your onscreen wart hogs give birth; conversely, being told that your herd of okapis are all `very unhappy' because you can't afford to buy the right kind of terrain for them is strangely depressing.
One can choose to simply build away, or there are a variety of `missions' to accomplish: saving a failing inner-city zoo, establishing a cat reserve, building a municipal zoo for a seaside resort, breeding giant pandas. These different games have been devised with imagination, and they add a sense of focus to what one is doing. As players invest more and more money into research and conservation projects, a wider range of animals, buildings and foliage becomes available. True to life, some of the rare animals the clouded leopards in particular are very hard to satisfy, while the baboons will put up with just about anything.
Zoo Tycoon appears to have been selling fairly well since its release at the tail-end of last year. Of course a day out at a real zoo would be preferable any time, but nonetheless it's quite comforting to think that something which takes it as a given that zoos are a Good Thing can achieve mainstream success.
A digital egg monitor system
The `candle' method has long been a tried and tested way to check for tell-tale signs of life in the early stages of egg incubation. It is possible, however, for the breeder, in seeking to obtain a good picture of development, to prolong the time of inspection and, in doing so, cause heat damage to the embryo.
When eggs reach the mid to latter stages in development we can see very little and, not unnaturally, begin to wonder if the developing embryo is going to make it. Whilst the well-tried method for checking viability at this stage is to float the egg in warm water and wait for movement, recent research has demonstrated that this action is detrimental to the embryo. The saturation of the shell opens its pores, with the potential influx of harmful bacteria.
A new system has now been released which, it is claimed, takes all the guesswork out of incubation. The `Buddy' Digital Monitor System can indicate egg fertility from around day 7. The system does not emit any heat radiation and is thus completely safe. To operate it, the egg is placed in a compartment in the machine and the lid closed. Pressing the `on' button operates the system with an instantaneous display on the built-in screen of a pulse read-out and three-digit heart rate. The unit also indicates when the chick is moving, reverting to the heart rate display when the bird has settled. In the event that the chick is not alive, a black still heart is displayed with a flat pulse line and a zero reading on the heart rate read-out. The unit can be mains or battery operated, so it can be taken to the aviary for `in situ' testing. This facility will also be invaluable to conservationists working in the field.
The system, priced at £199.75, is available from Avian Biotech in the U.K. (Tel. 01872 262777, or visit www.avitronics.co.uk for further information).
Special zoo evenings for chronically ill and disabled children
In 1996, Rotterdam Zoo initiated an annual evening out at the zoo for children from the Sophia Children's Hospital. Amsterdam Zoo joined in this effort in 2000 with their own version of this special evening. In 2001 four other Dutch zoos, Ouwehands Dierenpark in Rhenen, Safari Beekse Bergen in Hilvarenbeek, Apenheul in Apeldoorn and Amersfoort Zoo, also organised an evening for chronically ill and disabled children. The event has not only grown in the number of zoos holding it, but also within the individual zoos. Rotterdam began in 1996 with cancer patients in one children's hospital, but by 2001 was able to issue invitations to chronically ill children in 13 different hospitals throughout the region.
We expect all members of the Dutch Zoo Federation to join us in this annual event in 2002. Most of the Dutch zoos will participate by opening their gates for these special guests, who do not often have opportunities to visit our zoos, from 18.00 to 22.00 on Friday 7 June 2002. The children are also invited to bring their parents, brothers and sisters or other people close to them for this festive and cost-free evening. Most of the children come from hospitals, others from schools and institutions for blind or disabled children. Each zoo organises this event in their own way, but in all the zoos the children are welcomed and treated as VIPs. They are allowed to open doors, ask the keepers questions, come into as close contact with the animals as possible and get a more intimate view of the zoo than the average visitor.
It is fantastic to observe all the happy faces of the children, and to see their relatives who often have a very heavy burden to bear also having a good time. It is also a very special and satisfying evening for the zoo employees. Making an unforgettable evening for these children and their families is a perfect team-building experience. Almost all of the zoo employees volunteer to work that evening, and no one complains, even if he or she has had to answer the same question a thousand times. It is fun and a rewarding job to do.
Many external companies and individuals are pleased to contribute in a variety of ways, for example by providing free transportation, snacks, ice cream, face-paint or flowers, and even money to be spent on whatever the organisers find appropriate. Famous bands and artists offer fantastic music or theatre acts. In some zoos the fire brigade allows the children to use the fire hose or have a look in the fire engine, police personnel offer their assistance, and the A.A. patrol takes care of flat wheelchair tyres.
Because arranging this special evening is such a rewarding experience, organisers in the Dutch zoos are pleased to share the experience they have gained, to encourage zoos in other countries to hold similar events. It really is a project that is well worth the effort.
Abridged from Ko Veltman in EAZA News No. 37 (JanuaryMarch 2002)
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HOWLETTS AND PORT LYMPNE WILD ANIMAL PARKS, U.K., Summer 2000 to Summer 2001
Extracts from Help Newsletter No. 23
At Howletts, 18 infants were successfully parent-reared one siamang, one moloch gibbon, seven Javan langurs, five banded leaf monkeys, three grizzled leaf monkeys and one dusky langur. Imran, the male of the original pair of the critically-endangered moloch gibbons who arrived from Java in 1984, sadly died on 1 January. He was our original breeding male and leaves six surviving offspring. In 1987 we only had three (2.1) adult molochs: we now have 19 (8.11), of whom 15 are captive-born (13 of these at Howletts). Our unique group of captive grizzled leaf monkeys (Presbytis c. comata) continued to increase in number, with one death and three (2.1) births. It is impossible to base too many hopes on this perilously small captive population (4.6), but it is encouraging to have had at least five individuals reproduce successfully, and to have four Howletts-born individuals in a species that was stated in 1994 (in the IUCN's PHVA report for the moloch gibbon and grizzled leaf monkey) to be of low captive-breeding potential as `none have survived in captivity.' The banded leaf monkeys (Presbytis melalophos) had their most successful breeding year, with four females born in one group. The Javan langurs (Trachypithecus a. auratus) continue to increase in number; this species seems to consistently produce a higher ratio of female to male births.
An attempt to run two adjacent enclosures as a mixed exhibit of colobus and De Brazza monkeys ultimately failed. Initially it all seemed quite hopeful. The pair of De Brazzas were very confident and utilised all areas, but the trio of young colobus were restricted in their movement. Unfortunately little progress was made by the end of two months, when the colobus were the focus of a more determined `pincer movement' from the De Brazzas, and it seemed safest to separate them before any serious injury took place. It had been a stimulating time for the De Brazzas, and they became a much closer partnership as a result.
At Port Lympne, there were 13 successfully mother-reared infants born: four colobus, two howlers, one siamang, two Javan langurs, one capuchin, one De Brazza and two diana monkeys. The year saw a lot of restructuring of groups to help with breeding and prevent inbreeding. All the De Brazzas were re-paired, as none were breeding and our only known breeding female had been without a male, due to her partner's death a year earlier. Since she was paired up again she has had another infant; she and her mate now form one of only two breeding pairs in this country, as a lot of zoos have been going out of De Brazzas.
At 30 September 2001, gorilla numbers at the two parks totalled 70 (31.39). New infants included a male born to Mushie, who doesn't have the use of her right arm. She tends to drag or push the baby around on a little bed of straw, and he copes well with this unconventional method of transport, as did his elder brother, gorilla babies being far more robust than human ones.
In August 2000, female gorilla Sounda (25) started showing signs of illness, with loose faeces, a drop in appetite and weight loss. On examination, her large intestine appeared inflamed and any citrus fruit or food high in fibre would exacerbate this. Using the treatment given to people with inflamed colons, we fed her little and often with bland, cooked food, mainly potato, onion, bread and boiled chicken. We put some raw, minced garlic in these stews for its antiviral properties. Sounda gradually improved until we could put her back with the group in October, still none the wiser as to what caused the condition in the first place.
Another female, Tamki, was put onto contraceptive injections after producing three offspring and showing no interest in rearing any of them. There were several reasons for this decision: hand-rearing gorillas requires a great deal of work and effort, hand-reared gorillas are often socially inept and don't always fit into a group, Tamki's genetic line is well represented so placing her offspring will become a problem in the future, and finally it's not fair on her to have a baby every year. Unfortunately, a pregnancy test six months later showed that she was pregnant. If this infant has to be hand-reared, she will be put onto another form of contraceptive.
The two female Pallas cats at Howletts are still awaiting a male to breed with, but we anticipate that the search will shortly prove successful. The breeding pair of clouded leopards, Chang and Thai, did not breed in April 2001, but it is hoped that the break will help them for the coming season. We plan to put together two more pairs of clouded leopards to encourage breeding and give us new bloodlines. To our great disappointment, last year's litter of Asiatic wild dogs did not survive. We had almost resigned ourselves to the prospect of not seeing the pack grow any bigger, when on 28 April we realised that a new litter had been born. Of the seven pups, five survive at the time of writing.
At Port Lympne, the breeding Atlas lioness Jade bore a single female cub in March, and everything went smoothly for the first month. Then Jade came into season again, at least 20 months before she should have done, and deserted the cub in order to flaunt herself in front of the male, Kabir. The cub was not ready to be weaned, but we decided to leave her with her mother, but at the same time to bottle-feed her. The first sessions were quite stressful, but we persevered and began to win her trust, and more importantly to get adequate nutrition into her and wean her. When Jade finished her oestrus, some two weeks later, she allowed the cub to lie with her and began again to show some maternal care. Overnight the cub reverted to the snarling, hissing bundle of fur we had encountered two weeks previously. Jade never let the cub suckle again, so we continued to supplement her feeds. But Jade's unnatural cycling made us decide to retire her from the breeding programme and concentrate on the young hand-raised lioness Safiyya in future.
A litter of African hunting dogs was parent-reared for nine weeks without problems. Then the effects of an appallingly wet winter and spring began to show themselves. We noticed the pups were beginning to limp; then one of them was found dead with broken bones. The post-mortem and tests showed that we had been providing enough calcium, but that it had not been absorbed by the pups, who were lacking in vitamin D. This vitamin, while occurring in liver, for instance, is generally formed through the action of sunlight on the skin. This year we got very little sun at this important time in the pups' development. We had to remove them from the parents in order to treat them intensively and monitor their progress; they responded well and their bones strengthened.
November 2000 saw the birth of two litters of bush dogs, 2.3 and 3.1 respectively, and as far as we are aware all the pups survived to weaning. At ten weeks of age all the pups in both packs had become very confident and were actively following their parents around the enclosure. It came as a surprise when one young male was found sitting by himself and unable to stand; he had lost feeling in his front right and rear left legs, and his eyesight and hearing were also impaired. With intensive care he began to recover, and after two weeks was strong enough to stand and walk for long periods, although his sight and hearing remained poor. But a week later his condition took a downward spiral, and soon hope of recovery faded, prompting the decision to perform euthanasia. The post-mortem revealed a viral brain infection; but happily none of the other pups were affected.
This year, again, we did not breed from our Siberian lynxes, Indian desert cats and caracals. Fishing cats and ocelots have also been prevented from breeding. Because most of our ocelots are from `generic' stock (i.e. from mixed or unknown subspecies), it is likely that we will permanently prevent them from breeding.
A female Brazilian tapir at Howletts, Mucca Mucca, is now 35 years old and still coping well. [This is probably a longevity record for a tapir of any species Ed.]. The new breeding male nilgai, Laszlo, proved his worth and August saw several births, the start of a new bloodline. Movement of stock prior to the foot-and-mouth outbreak included the departure of the entire collection of parma wallabies to Wingham Bird Park, an exchange of male blackbuck with Colchester Zoo, and the departure to Ireland of a pair of bongo. Juma, the last of the original bongo who arrived at Howletts in 1984 from Woburn, died from old age in June at the remarkable age of seventeen and a half. Meanwhile, the first offspring of the new bongo bull, Narok, was born in March a female calf to a first-time mother.
At Port Lympne, the banteng produced three calves. Two of these were from first-time mothers who have undertaken their task admirably; one of them, Scarlett, was hand-raised herself but has seen other calves reared by their mothers. A male Malayan tapir was born on 25 July 2001. Although rather small at birth, he gained weight rapidly and was trying out solid food and browse within a matter of days. Other births included seven barasingha, seven nilgai, three sambar, three water buffalo and four American bison.
An unexpected tragedy hit us on 2 July 2001, when black rhino Nakuru's son, Zambezi, was found lying dead in his paddock first thing in the morning. There had been no real signs of illness and he was seen running around the night before. The post-mortem found that he had died from encephalomyocarditis virus, a disease carried by rats and squirrels which affects the heart and brain, the first case ever recorded at Port Lympne. Four weeks later, Rukwa gave birth to her sixth calf, a little female, who was named Solio after Kenya's most successful rhino reserve. Rukwa, who is one of our founder females and originally came from Kenya, is our oldest rhino but is once again proving to be a wonderful mother. As she lost her calf Galana last year at three months following an intestinal infection and severe diarrhoea, we kept a close watch on Solio. At a similar age, she also developed a bout of diarrhoea, but was treated for it and at the time of writing seems to be making a recovery.
Anthony Hall Martin visited Port Lympne on behalf of the National Parks Board of South Africa, to see our rhinos and to discuss the rhino exchange programme we have with them. He also gave us news of Bwana's progress. Bwana was the first captive black rhino ever to be returned to Africa (to the Addo Elephant National Park). In October 2000 he was moved to Thaba Tholo in the northern province of South Africa. This is a privately-owned game ranch of 36,000 hectares, home to 16 black rhinos of our subspecies, Diceros bicornis michaeli, and the remaining michaeli rhinos from Addo will be moved there by the middle of next year. Addo is now restocking with the original indigenous subspecies, D. b. bicornis, so any further rhinos sent from Port Lympne to South Africa will go to join Bwana at Thaba Tholo. To date, he has definitely sired three calves, two of whom were born in May this year.
No breeding took place in the Howletts African elephant herd. It was a frustrating year, as we were not allowed to move four of the bulls to other collections due to foot-and-mouth restrictions. Our problem where breeding is concerned is due to our having two adult bulls. We have learned from Dr Thomas Hildebrandt, who has wide experience in the field of breeding elephants, that having two adult bulls will actually stop the cows from cycling. Dr Hildebrandt came to ultrasound Lara, who had very healthy ovaries but was not cycling as she should be. We now think this must also be the story with the other cows in the herd. It seems that the less dominant bull, Ben, is suppressed by Jums and possibly vice versa! Consequently no pregnancies are happening. So we intend to move Ben, and also the young males Osh, Jassa and Jumar, to other collections abroad. We can then put Jums back with all the females, and hopefully breeding will start again.
In October 2000 we performed a standing sedation on Rani, one of the original Asian cows at Port Lympne, to remove fibrous tissue from around the vaginal area, which had been causing her discomfort. The operation was a success and she is now moving around more freely. Timber and Max, the two young bull calves who came to us from Rotterdam Zoo, are still as boisterous as ever. Their play-fighting has caused Timber to damage his tusks on two separate occasions. Thankfully Peter Kertesz, the zoo dentist, has been able to successfully repair them and save both tusks. In July 2001 Dr Hildebrandt and his team gave four of the Asian cows an ultrasound test to find out why they are not conceiving. The results are not yet complete as we are awaiting further tests, but we are hoping the outcome will be a positive one.
The gorilla projects in Gabon and Congo made dramatic progress with both released and semi-released groups. The project in Mpassa, Gabon, has benefited from our ten years of experience in the Lesio-Louna reserve, Congo. Here we have had to remedy unpredictable problems that resulted from decisions taken years before. Mpassa has the advantage of being extremely isolated and having a large river separating the human camp from the gorilla territory. There is no effective river boundary in Lesio-Louna, and a human population of upwards of 15,000 exerting an enormous pressure surrounds the reserve. Despite these problems we have not yet lost a gorilla in the Congo to poachers, and have managed to protect the indigenous wildlife by protecting a keystone species. The long-term future of all the gorillas in Lesio-Louna reserve has improved with the decision to transfer a yet undecided number to an area of forest forty km to the north-west of the base camp. Unlike the present reserve that borders villages, leading to significant human/gorilla conflict and increased patrolling requirements, the new block is cut off from permanent human habitation and is situated in the middle of the Lefini reserve, which is already nominally a protected area. Quite what the gorilla capacity of this new area is we do not yet know, but it does look encouraging, with roughly 40 km2 of forest, protected on three sides by rivers wide enough to halt canopy crossings. To the south there is a huge expanse of savannah isolating the forest and making surveillance of the area a good deal easier for us.
After breaking his leg in a fall, Marco, a young male in Gabon, showed how resilient gorillas in the wild can be by staying with the group and making a full recovery within months. He received no medication during this period, because it was felt that painkillers could cause further trauma by masking the pain. The accident and subsequent recovery was a reminder of the astonishing number of wild gorilla skeletons that have shown healed breaks and fractures.
The John Aspinall Foundation is helping to finance construction of a new facility at Ragunan Zoo, Jakarta, Indonesia, to assist the breeding of that country's most endangered primate species. Two years ago we started to train keepers and veterinarians from Ragunan in the animal care practised at our two parks, passing on the experience gained over the past few years with several Indonesian species Malayan tapirs, banded and grizzled leaf monkeys, Javan langurs, siamangs and moloch gibbons. We feel that this ongoing project will contribute something positive to Ragunan Zoo, assisting Indonesia in the struggle to breed and conserve its own wildlife.
LORO PARQUE FOUNDATION, TENERIFE, SPAIN
Report on the 2001 Breeding Season
This year, the 2000 breeding record of 853 chicks was increased by 30%, reaching a total of 1,104 ringed youngsters. Also, the number of species and subspecies bred increased from 148 in 2000 to 167 this year. This development gives us hope for the future, since it has become more important than ever to renounce wild-caught animals and get back to those bred in captivity. With its parrots bred in captivity, Loro Parque Fundación (LPF) can contribute considerably to support this trend.
Altogether, 26 lory species and subspecies produced 90 chicks, some of them of special interest, such as the rarely-bred cardinal lory (Chalcopsitta cardinalis) with five young hatched. A species that has been very productive this year is the musk lorikeet (Glossopsitta concinna) with eight chicks. Our yellow-bibbed lories (Lorius chlorocercus) produced four chicks, and a species that has become very rare in captivity, the emerald lory (Neopsittacus pullicauda), surprised us with two chicks. Fifteen species and subspecies of Trichoglossus bred during the year; outstanding results were six Rosenberg's lorikeets (T. haematodus rosenbergii) and three Johnstone's lorikeets (T. johnstoniae), for which the LPF holds the European studbook. As a result, the LPF's population of the latter has increased to 16, a significant number for this important species. Also, the blue-crowned lory (Vini australis) is heading in a positive direction after the hatching of five young from two pairs, among which, for the first time ever, are two males. As a result, new pairs can be established to continue the positive breeding results of this species in the future.
Cockatoos did well, with a breeding result of 93 chicks of 15 different species and subspecies leg-ringed. Number one on the productivity list are our Major Mitchell's cockatoos (Cacatua leadbeateri), with six successful breeding pairs in the collection. The Moluccan cockatoos (C. moluccensis) hatched 14 youngsters, an especially important result as this species is facing a serious population decline in its natural habitat. A female gang-gang (Callocephalon fimbriatum) chick was bred, as well as seven chicks from two pairs of blue-eyed cockatoo (Cacatua ophthalmica), some of whom were hatched in our hand-rearing station.
The keas (Nestor notabilis) raised three offspring, increasing Loro Parque's population to 13. A group of nine young keas is currently exhibited in a huge aviary together with some galah cockatoos (Eolophus roseicapilla); they have become a major attraction for the visitors because of their hilarious behaviour. All our three fig parrot species bred successfully this year, the Edwards's fig parrots (Psittaculirostris edwardsii) being the most successful with five chicks raised to adulthood. Another result worth mentioning is the breeding of four great-billed parrots (Tanygnathus megalorhynchus), a species which is rarely bred in captivity. The red-sided eclectus parrots (Eclectus roratus polychloros) were the most prolific representatives of the genus Eclectus, with a total of 13 young raised.
As far as Australian parrots are concerned, the scarlet-chested parrots (Neophema splendida) did well this season, with a total of six chicks raised. It will be a great challenge in the future to build up captive populations of Australian parrots that are free from colour mutations, since nowadays it has become rather difficult to obtain individuals without them. One of our duties for the next few years will be to re-establish naturally-coloured populations of Australian species.
Our African parrots have also achieved satisfying results during the 2001 season. The grey parrots (Psittacus erithacus thimneh) produced 15 youngsters, followed by the Kuhl's Cape parrot (Poicephalus robustus fuscicollis) with nine chicks from four pairs. A very reliable breeding group are our Nyasa lovebirds (Agapornis lilianae), who produced 22 young.
Eleven Psittacula species bred a total of 55 offspring. An outstanding result was our first breeding of a long-tailed parakeet (P. longicauda) chick.
Our macaws' results improved considerably this year: 148 chicks of 13 species were ringed altogether. The most successful species were the blue-and-yellow, scarlet and green-winged macaws (Ara ararauna, A. macao and A. chloroptera), although other more difficult species such as hyacinth macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) and blue-headed macaw (Ara couloni) were also successful. A result to be proud of was the rearing of 11 blue-throated macaw (A. glaucogularis) chicks by five of our pairs (more than ever before), only two of which had to be artificially reared. Considering the critical status of this species in the wild, this outcome is very positive.
The Aratinga genus was represented by 12 species with a total of 113 chicks, 44 of them sun conures (A. solstitialis). Six golden conures (Guarouba guarouba) were raised by their parents, enriching the Foundation's population of this beautiful, endangered parrot species. Another great event was the breeding of three thick-billed parrots (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha). The pair which produced offspring for the first time last year raised another two young; a second pair which started reproducing for the first time this year destroyed the eggs in the nest, except for one that was rescued and successfully hatched in an incubator.
One of our most reliable genera are the Pyrrhura species and subspecies, of which 13 reproduced and raised a total of 178 chicks. As far as the breeding of the Bolborhynchus species is concerned, some innovations have been introduced in their management; a decisive step was a radical change in nutrition developed with the collaboration of our veterinary department. Whereas in 2000 only one species reproduced, this year five species and subspecies bred successfully. Special emphasis must be put on the hatching of six Andean parakeets (B. orbygnesius) from two pairs; this species is extremely difficult to reproduce in captivity, and this was the first time it has been bred in the history of Loro Parque.
All our three caique (Pionites) species have done well this year, hatching 15 young in total. Another great performance was our first breeding of a short-tailed parrot (Graydidascalus brachyurus), again a species rarely kept in captivity which has only been reproduced a few times worldwide. The single chick was raised by its parents, which is even more important to us.
Five of our Pionus species produced 29 young altogether, six of which are plum-crowned parrots (P. tumultuosus) and ten coral-billed parrots (P. sordidus corallinus). In the large group of amazons, the reproduction rate was also considerable a total of 90 chicks from 20 species and subspecies were ringed. But the culmination of the whole breeding season was the first breeding worldwide of the scaly-naped amazon (Amazona mercenaria). In a huge flocking aviary where two pairs are held, one finally started breeding and produced a clutch of three eggs, two of which were fertile and hatched without any problems. The chicks have developed well, being looked after by their parents continuously. When the long-awaited day of their independence arrived, the youngsters managed to get accustomed to the huge aviary almost immediately, but were still fed by their parents for some time until they learned to feed on the food offered by the keepers. This first breeding success is an extremely important step towards the conservation of the scaly-naped amazon, a species almost non-existent in captivity.
Other amazon species bred included yellow-shouldered (A. barbadensis), red-topped (A. rhodocorytha), festive (A. bodini), red-spectacled (A. pretrei), yellow-lored (A. xantholora) and yellow-faced (A. xanthops).
Finally, we would like to report the good breeding results of our purple-bellied parrots (Triclaria malachitacea), who produced seven chicks in 2001, increasing our population to what is probably the largest reserve of this highly endangered species in captivity.
Altogether, the number of species and subspecies in the collection has increased to 322 through the acquisition of new species. These include, among others, Andean parakeet, canary-winged parakeet (Brotogeris versicolurus chiriri), blue-winged parrotlet (Forpus crassirostris spengeli), golden-shouldered parrot (Psephotus chrysopterygius) and Riedel's eclectus (Eclectus roratus riedeli).
Abridged from Cyanopsitta No. 63 (December 2001)
TIERPARK HAGENBECK, HAMBURG, GERMANY
Annual Report 2001
A popular Chinese curse wishes one to live in interesting times, and that is perhaps a consolation for the management of Tierpark Hagenbeck: 2001 pattered by without much happening. No new construction was either completed or begun, although the local newspapers published plans for a **5m house for Hagenbeck's shrewdness of a dozen Sumatran orang-utans. [Perhaps I should explain that a `shrewdness' of apes is one of a great number of collective English terms for groups of animals, many of which seem to have been invented in the 15th century. Most of them have seldom been used except by compilers of lists of obscure words. (A `pride' of lions is one of the few to have entered the everyday language.) Certainly this is the first time I have encountered a shrewdness of apes in a serious zoological context! Ed.] For the first time in the zoo's history, major construction will be financed by the corporation of Hamburg. The ruling socialists promised Hagenbeck the money during last year's election campaign for a new assembly, but the ploy didn't work and they were voted out of office nevertheless. The loss, of course, had nothing to do with any unpopularity the zoo might suffer, and the conservative opposition that took over city hall for the first time in two generations has promised to honour the last government's pledge. Alas, it found the coffers empty, and only when the new budget has been worked out will Hagenbeck get their funds. Construction of the 15-metre-high, 30-metre-wide conservatory-like dome should then begin early next year at the latest.
What was inaugurated last year was not really new, but two paddocks originally laid out in the 1930s for Indian hoofed stock now revamped into a single `Central Asian steppe' for Persian wild ass, Persian gazelles and Bactrian camels. Tierpark Hagenbeck was one of the first zoos to widely associate various species in one exhibit, but the trend has been intensified in the last decade. Breeding onagers has been a Hagenbeck tradition for over 45 years now. The last expedition to capture animals that the Tierpark, originally a wild-animal dealership, was to organize, brought back a small herd of Persian wild ass (and the last Caspian tiger ever seen in a zoo) from Iran in 1955.
In anticipation of a new main entrance across the street from the underground station, an eight-metre-high, 2.5-tonne `Man on Large Giraffe' bronze, the **250,000 work of the widely regarded Karlsruhe sculptor Stephen Balkenhol, was unveiled on 26 April. (The giraffe is eight metres high, not the man.) Construction of the entrance itself will commence presumably this autumn. In keeping with the zoo's exotic landscape, it was designed as a Nepalese gateway, dominated by a wooden tower currently being carved near Kathmandu.
Tierpark Hagenbeck entered the new season with 2,491 animals (plus invertebrates in the Troparium, the aquarium cum terrarium) representing 358 species. That's a species more and four specimens less than were counted a year ago. Attendance dropped to 803,000 from 820,000 in the year 2000. Forty-one species were bred and (to date) successfully raised last year, for the most part mammals and waterfowl. The mammals were 2.0 great red kangaroos, one bonnet macaque, 2.0 mandrills, six oriental small-clawed otters, 1.1 North China leopard, 0.2 South American fur seal, 1.0 Persian wild ass, 1.1 Chapman's zebras, 0.1 Bactrian camel, 2.2 axis deer, 1.0 Rothschild's giraffe, 2.4 blackbuck, 1.1 springbok, 0.2 greater kudus, 1.1 bison, 1.0 Dexter bull, 1.1 Ovambo goats, 8.6 Anglia saddle-backed swine and 1.0 Poitou donkey. (Hagenbeck hosted Germany's first show of the endangered French breed of giant Poitou donkeys last year. The equally rare Anglia swine, incidentally, are native to the original Anglia, or Angeln, in northern Germany, not to eastern England.) Only two mammal species were acquired from other zoos: 1.0 Sumatran orang-utan from Duisburg and 1.0 emperor tamarin from Lisbon. Aside from waterfowl, Hagenbeck last year bred two Humboldt penguins, six greater, Chilean and Cuban flamingos, one white pelican, two green-winged macaws and two carmine bee-eaters. The Troparium was the birthplace of six seahorses (Hippocampus barbouri), two blue poison-arrow frogs (Dendrobates azureus), two mangrove rat-snakes (Gonyosoma oxycephala), nine green tree pythons (Chondropython viridis) and one Chinese three-banded box turtle (Cuora trifasciata). One birth predicted for 2001 in last year's annual report (I.Z.N. 48 (2), 126127), that of an Indian elephant, proved to be tragically short-lived. After a 666-day pregnancy, Thura bore on 7 November a 162-kg bull who died only minutes after hitting the ground. But there's new hope in the elephant house. Just after Easter Hagenbeck reported the pregnancies of a 23-year-old Indian and a 12-year-old Vietnamese elephant, both sired by the 28-year-old, Mysore-born Hussein last July and September respectively. Knock on ivory.
Hagenbeck's management announced one change near the top of staff as the year ended: after 21 years as a keeper and another 24 years as Superintendent (Inspektor), Peter Restorff retired on 31 December at age 62. He was succeeded on 1 January of this year by Dr Stefan Hering-Hagenbeck, the son-in-law of Dr Carl Claus Hagenbeck, zoological director of Tierpark Hagenbeck. In their 154th year, Hagenbeck remain a family affair.
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INTERNATIONAL ZOO NEWS
Hamilton Zoo, New Zealand
A healthy male white rhino calf was born at the zoo on 6 January 2002. Hamilton received three southern white rhinos (two females, Caballe and Moescha, both estimated to be eight years old, and a male, Zambesi, estimated age ten) as part of a contingent of 12 rhinos from Kruger National Park, South Africa, who came to Australasian zoos in 1999 [see I.Z.N. 47 (1), p. 50 Ed.].
Monitoring of faecal progesterone metabolites from the two females started in February 2000 and, combined with behavioural observations of oestrus and mating, indicated that the females were cycling regularly. Caballe had five cycles in 2000 with an average cycle length of 32.4 ± 1.7 days before conceiving in August 2000; her male calf was born after a 514-day gestation. Moescha continues to cycle and be mated regularly at 31.9 ± 1.3 day intervals.
There have been three white rhino births in New Zealand in the last three years, the first in the Australasian region since 1984. A male calf was born at Orana Park, Christchurch, in August 1999 to Utani, a 16-year-old first-time mother. A female calf was born at Auckland Zoo in June 2000 to Mazithi, who was pregnant when she arrived as part of the 1999 shipment, and also had an 18-month calf at foot.
Catherine Morrow in Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 1 (2002)
Honolulu Zoo, Hawaii, U.S.A.
[A visitor's report by Ken Kawata]
In I.Z.N. 114 (July 1973) my three-page piece `Zoos in Hawaii' appeared, based on a visit in March 1972. Early in 2002 I paid a second visit to this archipelago with my wife. Although zooing was not the main purpose of the trip, on 4 February we briefly visited two institutions in Honolulu [see also the report on Waikiki Aquarium, below (pp. 1867)].
During the past three decades old cages had been torn down, and exhibits were upgraded. African Savanna, a $17m complex spread out in nearly 12 acres [4.8 ha], was opened between 1992 and 1994, featuring basic stock such as chimpanzees, lions, hippopotami and large ungulates. During our visit, an Asian Tropical Forest section was under construction as a part of the master plan. These exhibit complexes follow the current trend of moated enclosures, often with glass partitions and a generous use of artificial rocks by the spray cement technique known as `gunite' in the U.S. Under the leadership of the current director, Ken Redman, the master plan focuses on tropical animals. This sounds most logical, considering the climate they are in there would be no sense in extending their effort to include fauna of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Also, aquatic animals are virtually excluded in the plan; a sea lion pool, which I had seen during the first visit, is no longer there. This makes sense; the well-known Waikiki Aquarium is within easy walking distance.
The zoo has a long history of successful animal breeding and the tradition continues. For instance, in an off-scene area I had the pleasure of viewing a froglet of the Surinam toad (Pipa pipa), the first offspring after a three-year effort to breed them. The enviable tropical climate gives an advantage to husbandry programs, including breeding. On the other hand, the geographical isolation often presents challenges unique to Hawaii. An example is animal acquisitions, which present different types of headache compared to the mainland counterparts. Expensive transportation cost is only a part of the picture. To cite an example, due to the strict state law, importation of snakes is quite difficult; the snake population of the entire zoo is represented by one male Burmese python!
Recently, a local elected official launched a big plan for a multi-million-dollar project to build a new zoo, in a location away from the population center of Honolulu. Such an ambitious plan, especially at a time of financial difficulty in the region, poses a curious question. Insiders have their doubts if the scheme has any realistic chance to materialize. Stay tuned!
John Ball Zoo, Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.
Jellyfish are, of course, not really fish, so `jellies' is a better term for this group of invertebrates in the phylum Cnidaria. Jellies have no backbone or exoskeleton and are composed of over 95% water. They have no internal organs or blood, and a centralized mouth functions for both the uptake of food and the discharge of waste.
Jellies are transparent to help them escape predators. Sea turtles and sharks sometimes feed on them, but the transparency makes the animal harder to see and capture. Unfortunately sea turtles sometimes mistake plastic bags and balloons that are dumped into the ocean for jellies. The turtles can easily die from impaction due to eating the plastic.
There are over 2,000 species of jellies and all have tentacles that contain tiny stinging cells inside of which are harpoons tipped with toxins. When a jelly brushes up against a prey item (such as plankton, fish larvae or small invertebrates) these cells explode and the harpoon is propelled into the victim, injecting the toxin, which usually kills or immobilizes the prey. The jelly then uses the cilia on its tentacles to direct the prey to its mouth. The toxin begins to digest the prey's tissue before the jelly actually swallows the food.
Most jellies move by floating in the water and can travel over half a mile [0.8 km] in a day. By moving with the ocean currents they encounter large tracts of food. Many jellies can also swim under their own power by propelling jets of water out of their belly.
Jelly reproduction is an intricate combination of fertilization, egg-laying and cloning. Males and females in the adult or `medusa' form spawn in the ocean and the fertilized, pear-shaped embryo or `planula' attaches itself to a rock. The planula eventually develops into a flower-shaped polyp. This polyp then clones itself over and over again and releases new polyps. In some cases these polyps can reproduce by a process called strobilization. Polyps undergoing strobilization form layers of new organisms much like a stack of papers. The layers or `ephyra' break off into the water column and become free-swimming. Eventually these ephyra mature into medusae. The maturation process can take up to two years.
Here at the zoo we will be exhibiting moon jellies (Aurelia aurita). Found throughout the warmer oceans of the world, moon jellies reach an adult size of nearly 15 inches [380 mm]. Our aquarists and curators are currently working with other zoos on developing life-support systems and culturing techniques for these animals when they arrive.
We plan to show visitors how precise and careful aquarists must be when caring for moon jellies. The exhibit tank must be shaped to specific parameters so that the animals can move properly with the water flow. Square tanks with corners are harmful to jellies, as their tentacles become injured when they bump into a corner. Instead the tank must have rounded corners with the water current moving in a circular motion. This configuration is commonly called a Kriesel (German for `carousel'). The water current needs to be fast enough to allow the jellies to move and sweep food towards their tentacles, but not so fast that it sucks them through the water treatment system. Bubbles in the water can also be harmful to adult jellies. When air bubbles become trapped under the jelly they may eventually be incorporated into the tissue. This results in a sort of `indigestion' which could be fatal. So care is needed to provide the necessary current but not produce bubbles.
Culturing or reproducing moon jellies requires strict attention to even the smallest detail. Several smaller tanks will need to be in operation in order for the animals to grow properly. One tank might contain the planulae, the next the polyps, and so on until adult size is reached. Environmental parameters such as amount of light, temperature and water chemistry (jellies don't like metals such as zinc in the water) will be measured frequently. Visitors will be able to watch this process unfold at the exhibit.
Abridged and adapted from Norah B. Fletchall in Zoo News (John Ball Zoological Society) Vol. 19, No. 1 (March 2002)
Melbourne Zoo, Victoria, Australia
We have been working closely with our giraffes in training programs for over five years now. In the past 18 months we have restructured and refined our training program, to increase consistency and involvement of the staff on the section. Though this took some work to alter and put into practice, it has helped us to increase consistency and reduced the time required to do the work.
The majority of our training with the giraffes is getting them accustomed to the confined chute area adjacent to their house. Once they are accustomed to this area, monitoring and maintenance of the individuals is substantially easier.
At present we are working with all three of our giraffes. The six-and-a-half-year-old bull, Mukulu, is fully accustomed to the chute, is trained to respond to a target and whistle, and is now very calm when we introduce new and sometimes invasive procedures, e.g. veterinary examinations. While he is locked in the chute we can comfortably trim his hooves, which is done as required. Introduction of a new procedure takes different lengths of time, depending on the technique e.g. at least two weeks in the case of blood collection. Our six-year-old cow Twiga is not as responsive in the confines of the chute. At this point we are still building trust with her, progressively getting closer and closer while she stands and feeds in the chute.
There has also been a need to work with the giraffes outside the chute area, primarily with transportation. We are currently conditioning the 15-month-old male, Tambo, for transportation to another facility in the near future. This has required the use of several different techniques, including basic reward systems and target training, as well as partial separation from his mother, as he has only recently reached weaning age. Using fundamentals again with this individual, we have been building up his trust, not forcing him into the unusual situation of the transport box, but encouraging him to enter it at his own pace.
Paul Karis in Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 1 (2002)
Paignton Zoo (Whitley Wildlife Conservation Trust), U.K.
For many years now several zoos have allowed certain species of their small primates to live `free-range' within their grounds so long as they do not wander where they are not welcome. For our own part we have had pygmy marmosets based in the trees near our reception centre since May 1999 and, apart from a local dispute with a grey squirrel and having an attempt to storm the nearby fudge shop thwarted, they have settled in well to their `wild' environment. Part of the delay in releasing a larger callitrichid was identifying a territory of sufficient area that would not bring them into conflict with the various retail and catering outlets around the zoo. Visitors are not permitted to feed the animals, but try telling that to someone who has just bought a take-away hot dog and is then suddenly confronted by an attractive `hungry-looking' monkey!
After much deliberation we identified a suitable area, and in July 2001 our family of four golden lion tamarins, the adult pair and their two sons, was moved from the mammal house to a relatively secluded part of the zoo within our Forest Habitat zone. They are now based in a new heated house with an associated outdoor aviary, and on a daily basis they have free access to the surrounding trees by means of rope links into the canopy. The keepers use a whistle at the afternoon feeding time to signal that there is an incentive for the animals to return to the house, whereupon they are locked in for the night.
Paignton received its first golden lion tamarins in 1984, but it wasn't until our current adult pair was established in 1990 that we started breeding them. Our first set of twins was born in 1992 and since then the female, Peanut, has successfully reared (with some assistance from Johan) a further eight infants. One of these, a female called Gemma, was reintroduced to the protected reserve, Poco das Antas, Brazil, in June 2000, and gave birth to her first `wild' babies a couple of months later on 17 August a truly historic moment for the zoo staff and our supporters to savour!
Neil Bemment, Curator of Mammals, in Paignton Zoo News No. 46 (Spring 2002)
Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary, Greenbrier, Arkansas, U.S.A.
An important new finding about musth in elephants was recently published in Nature (Vol. 415, 28 February 2002, pp. 975976). The article, `Mellifluous matures to malodorous in musth', is co-authored by Dr Bets Rasmussen (Oregon Health and Science University), Heidi Riddle (Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary), and Dr. V. Krishnamurthy (Asian Elephant Conservation Centre, India).
Musth is a well documented though not well understood condition that male elephants experience annually. It is characterized by increased testosterone production, and some of the physical signs include a thick secretion from the temporal glands (located about halfway between the animals' eyes and ears) and urine dribbling. Other signs, such as aggressive and unpredictable behavior, may also be present. The new findings demonstrate that younger, socially immature male Asian elephants avoid conflict with larger, adult males by releasing honey-like odors from the temporal glands. In contrast, older musth males produce malodorous combinations that signal their dominance over young males. These odoriferous `flags' facilitate the smooth functioning of male elephant society.
The authors have documented a remarkable chemical transformation that may have far-reaching benefits for how people and elephants interact. `The unusual, close relationship between the Riddles and the elephants at their sanctuary made possible the original observation that temporal gland secretions from Hank, a young Asian male elephant in his first musth, smelled like honey,' said Dr Rasmussen, `and this relationship also allowed the safe collection in succeeding years of numerous samples.'
These collected samples of sweet honey musth secretions and the acrid-smelling adult musth secretions were chemically analyzed by two novel techniques, then presented as discrete samples to male elephants of different ages and their responses recorded. Results from the sanctuary samples were meshed with those of several other captive males, along with chemical and behavioral results from wild elephants in India. This new knowledge can be used for wild elephant conservation by helping to develop deterrence programs for crop-raiding elephants to minimize humanelephant conflicts in South-east Asia, home of over 35,000 wild elephants.
Riddle's Elephant and Wildlife Sanctuary is operated by a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving both Asian and African elephants. It offers permanent refuge to any elephant in need. The facility provides training and education in elephant management and conservation, and conducts scientific study in the health and propagation of elephants. For further information, see the website www.elephantsanctuary.org.
St Louis Zoo, Missouri, U.S.A.
The zoo's dramatic new immersion exhibit, River's Edge, opened to the public on 27 April 2002. Here visitors journey through a meandering waterway to animals from South America, Africa, Asia and North America. From the entrance of this $27 million exhibit, they pass waterfalls cascading into a river. A light fog crosses the mud path, embedded with animal footprints and leaves. In the distance is the sound of a bird call, then a monkey chattering. Overhead, oropendola nests sway in the breeze. `When we designed River's Edge, we wanted to blur the boundaries between animals and humans,' says zoo director Charles H. Hoessle. `We hope that if visitors really feel a part of distant, or local, habitats, they will care more about finding ways to coexist with animals in these habitats.'
The first animals that visitors encounter at River's Edge are capybaras, bush dogs and giant anteaters at an Amazon Backwater. Up ahead a pair of black rhinos roam through Rhino Reserve, a rolling habitat with several vantage points. At Warthog Wallow, these wild pigs are ferocious and droll at the same
An Asian elephant in St Louis Zoo's River's Edge exhibit. (Photo: Chuck Dresner)
time. They occupy abandoned aardvark dens or burrow with their snouts for protection from predators and heat. Nearby a colony of carmine bee-eaters shares its space with a busy beehive. Just beyond is Anheuser-Busch Hippo Harbor, with a spectacular view of river hippopotamuses gliding through their 60,000-gallon [225,000-liter] pool.
An important part of the River's Edge landscape are the predators, spotted hyenas and cheetahs. Three female hyenas live in a social clan; females of this species dominate the males and lead the clan on hunts. Cheetahs are more solitary, usually coming together only for breeding. At River's Edge, the cheetah survival center is designed so that appropriate introductions can be made. Near the cheetahs are the smallest carnivore of Africa, the dwarf mongoose, which prefers life in a termite mound. Agile and active, the mongooses run, jump and climb around their mound, sometimes with their diminutive offspring.
Up ahead are the zoo's herd of Asian elephants. They live in a spacious natural habitat where they can dive and swim in a deep channel of the river, take a dust bath or splash under a waterfall. The end of the River's Edge journey brings visitors back to the Missouri Wetlands area. Here they see how wetlands act as `sponges' to soak up rainwater, as `filters' to strain out impurities and as resting places for migrating birds. A simulated beaver dam shows how beavers act as natural modifiers of their environment, just like humans. Finally the trail leads through a cave to a 33,000-gallon [125,000-liter] Missouri River Aquarium with natives of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers.
An important component of most wild places today is humans. Items like fishing traps, logging equipment and cultural artifacts remind visitors to River's Edge that humans share this world with animals. They also see several man-made structures along the pathways, including a simulated Asian ranger base, an African schoolhouse and a Missouri Ozark cabin. These serve as interpretive `nodes' in which visitors can learn more about animals and their conservation.
Adapted from St Louis Zoo press releases
San Diego Wild Animal Park, California, U.S.A.
The park maintains four species of bee-eaters (Merops spp.), which were historically given access to honeybees through the placement of multiple hives in and around the enclosures, in addition to a commercial, nutritionally enhanced insect diet. It became apparent that the birds preferentially consumed the highly active, flying bees over the other insects offered, to the exclusion of consuming necessary components of their diet.
Tissues submitted for vitamin analysis from a few mortality cases indicated that the birds were deficient in vitamin E, a required fat-soluble vitamin. When food items, including the honeybees, were collected and submitted for nutrient analysis, the results not only confirmed our suspicions that the bees were deficient in vitamin E, but also showed that they were deficient in calcium and other nutrients.
Because we were unable to manipulate the nutrient content of the honeybees from the hives, or the birds' proclivity to consume the bees instead of the more balanced insects and dietary components, the bees were removed from the areas. The challenge then became one of developing a method to present commercially available insects in a manner that attracted the birds' attention, and encouraged them to eat. Since movement was a cue that seemed to be essential, a specially designed feeder was constructed which allowed the insects to move freely, yet contained them in a specific area so that they were unable to escape predation by the target bird species. Since cooler weather would slow the metabolism of the insects, thus reducing their movement, the special feeders were heated during colder months.
Once the birds routinely demonstrated consumption of the provisioned insects, a single beehive was reintroduced into the aviary. The bee-eaters now consume bees at an `enrichment' level rather than as a significant portion of their diet.
This case is a perfect example of why an animal's common name, in this case `bee-eater', should never be used as the primary factor in formulating its diet. Additionally, the concepts of preference and palatability must be weighed objectively. In this case, when the preferred prey was removed from the diet, conventional, more nutritionally complete insect prey were found to be equally palatable with proper presentation.
Mark Edwards in AZA Communiqué (March 2002)
[Further details of San Diego Wild Animal Park's bee-eater husbandry may be found in I.Z.N. 48 (5), pp. 345346 Ed.]
Taronga Zoo, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
On 5 November 2001 our female Andean condor, Connie, laid her second egg for the season. The first had been removed for artificial incubation but was infertile. The second egg was prised out from underneath the male, Bruce, for artificial incubation. After seven days the first signs of development were observed. The embryo continued developing in an almost model fashion apart from some minor concerns that the egg was not losing sufficient weight.
After 51 days of incubation internal pipping occurred and the chick entered the air cell of the egg and began breathing air. It took a further five anxious days for the chick to externally pip and begin cracking the eggshell. Further action didn't occur for another 48 hours, when the chick began to chip away in earnest. However it didn't make much progress, and after it had been struggling for another 24 hours we decided to intervene and remove some shell fragments to examine the chick and the membranes. The chick was struggling to rotate inside the egg but was trapped by drying membranes that were sticking to its body. At this stage an assisted hatch was begun and the chick was eventually released from the shell at 3.30 p.m. on 3 January. After hatching it weighed 197 g and was confirmed as a female due to the lack of a fleshy lump at the base of the beak. This is only the third Andean condor bred in Australia and the first in 21 years, bringing the total population here to five birds.
Trena Carney in Thylacinus Vol. 26, No. 1 (2002)
Ueno Zoo, Tokyo, Japan
Two aye-ayes, an eight-year-old male and a three-year-old female (ages are estimates) arrived at Narita airport on 21 September 2001 as part of a cooperative breeding program from Tsimbazaza Zoo in Tananarive, Madagascar. After a quarantine period at the airport they arrived at Ueno Zoo on 22 October. A further quarantine period followed at the zoo, and a ceremony was conducted on 22 November, after which they made their public debut. There was a long queue to view these animals, the first of the species to come to Japan. Accompanying the aye-aye pair were two grey gentle lemurs (Hapalemur g. griseus).
Tsimbazaza is also the zoo that sent Japan's first crested wood ibis (Lophotibis cristata), four juveniles (said to have hatched in November 2000), who arrived on 27 April 2001.
Translated by Ken Kawata from Animals and Zoos Vol. 54, No. 1 (January 2002)
Waikiki Aquarium, Hawaii, U.S.A.
[A visitor's report by Ken Kawata]
Waikiki Aquarium, a part of the University of Hawaii, has gone through a rebirth in recent years. In the mid-1970s the aquarium fell into disrepair. From October 1992 to May 1994 it was closed for renovation. It still remains small and can be seen in one and a half hours. But the result of the renovation is obvious it is an outstanding, quality institution, offering a pleasant visiting experience. More than half the exhibits are indoors, but there is a row of exhibits in an outdoor setting including Edge of the Reef, simulating a Hawaiian rocky coastline and shallow reef. An effort toward education may be noted throughout, evidenced by hands-on interpretive exhibits and attractive graphics.
In terms of the collection and husbandry, the Hawaiian monk seal represents the mammalian `trade mark', just as it did three decades ago. The rest of the inventory is equally impressive, however, particularly the marine invertebrates. This is the first aquarium in America to exhibit nautilus (also bred here), cuttlefish and the largest of the giant clams, Tridacna gigas. Also on exhibit is the mahimahi hatchery, a successful breeding facility (mahimahi is a popular marine fish).
Despite state-wide financial difficulty in recent years, the aquarium continues to prosper. Not so long ago, the governor of Hawaii announced a plan to build a larger marine life facility on the same island, Oahu. This presented a cloud of uncertainty over the historical institution, but luckily for them the idea seems to have died down.
News in brief
For some reason, the spider monkeys at St Louis Zoo, Missouri, are terrified of pomegranates. The first time they were offered, the group refused to enter the holding area where their diet was waiting. Keepers assumed it was because of the new item, so they showed the group a whole pomegranate. The monkeys had no problem with the whole fruit, but as soon as a keeper cut the pomegranate open, exposing the fleshy, red seeds, the whole group ran screaming to the farthest corner of the exhibit. They would not return until the entire area was cleared of all traces of pomegranate.
Jan Reiter in AZA Communiqué (March 2002)
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DNA analysis of Moroccan and Turkish specimens of northern bald ibis or waldrapp (Geronticus eremita) has revealed a consistent genetic difference between the two populations. This discovery will have obvious conservation implications for any captive-breeding and release programmes.
J. Ornithologie 142 (4), 425428 reported in World Birdwatch Vol. 24, No. 1 (March 2002)
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Sloths can be very `neophobic' with food items. To get the sloths at Central Park Zoo, New York, onto a high-protein diet for an intensive breeding program, keepers patiently put the food into the sloths' pans for six months until the animals finally started choosing the `new' food as part of their diet. Sloths are long-lived and a little slow, and apparently they need to be wary of toxic foods in their rainforest habitat. Patience and consistency were the keys to successfully changing their diet.
Don Moore in AZA Communiqué (March 2002)
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A South American tapir at Zürich Zoo, Switzerland, recently gave birth to her 11th calf. The zoo has been keeping this species since 1934 and first bred it in 1936. The mother was born in the zoo in 1982. Nine of her offspring have survived their first year of life, and six (3.3) have been transferred to other zoos. During the day, the tapirs share a mixed exhibit with capybaras and giant anteaters.
Samuel Furrer in EAZA News No. 37 (JanuaryMarch 2002)
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Beijen, M.: Gedragsverrijking niet altijd een succes! (Behavioural enrichment is not always successful.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 1 (2002), pp. 2427. [Dutch, with English summary. While zoo personnel are often quite eager to recount examples of successful animal enrichment activities, they are much more reluctant to discuss unsuccessful ones, and there is little available information on enrichment `failures'. These can of course be as important in guiding enrichment efforts as are successful activities. A call to Harpij readers to share their unsuccessful enrichment experiences last year yielded no responses, but did lead to a student internship carried out at Amsterdam Zoo to investigate this issue. Personnel at 14 Dutch and Belgian zoos were interviewed, and a list of 64 diverse unsuccessful experiences compiled. The most common reason for failure was unforeseen consequences. For example a ball for elephants designed to weigh 250 kg so that the elephants could not throw it at the visitors was well used by the elephants but caused considerable damage to the enclosure. Another relatively frequently encountered problem reported was that the enrichment activity posed an unforseen threat to the animals' health: for example, hiding food for carnivores had led to cases of some animals getting too much food and others not nearly enough. The time investment needed to carry out activities was in a number of cases too great. Some forms of enrichment posed a risk to visitors, and some resulted in aggressive behaviour. For example, a young male walrus in a group given a doll to play with (among other floating objects) first reacted aggressively to the doll and then transferred this behaviour to his keepers. Other problems encountered were: insufficient budget to purchase desired materials, impracticality in carrying out the activity, over- or underestimating the animals' capacities, shortage of personnel to take initiative and carry out activities, and failure to keep up enrichment efforts. The author suggests that De Harpij annually publish a list of unsuccessful as well as successful enrichment activities, and consider setting up a database with this information available to everyone.]
Blay, N., and Côté, I.M.: Optimal conditions for breeding of captive Humboldt penguins (Spheniscus humboldti): a survey of British zoos. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 6 (2001), pp. 545555. [The authors surveyed 16 British zoos and bird gardens to assess the optimal conditions for breeding of captive Humboldt penguins. They obtained information on population, enclosure and husbandry characteristics, and related these variables to three measures of breeding success, namely, per capita egg productivity, chick productivity, and hatching success. All three fitness measures increased with an increasing number of breeding pairs and total population size (as was expected given the social nature of this species in the wild), but were not related to population density. Once the effect of number of breeding pairs was removed statistically, chick productivity was found to be highest when nesting boxes were lined with sand and gravel instead of alternative substrates such as twigs or vegetation. Hatching success increased with increasing pool size; it is suggested that larger pools may allow the expression of natural behaviours such as shoaling and porpoising, resulting in greater well-being of the parent birds. Also, hatching success was highest in enclosures with concrete floors (perhaps because concrete offers relatively better hygienic conditions). Although adult mortality rates were generally low, higher rates were associated with multi-species displays and chlorination of pool water; the exact mechanisms involved remain to be determined. The prevalence of parent- versus hand-rearing had no effect on chick productivity or hatching success (in contrast with the results of an earlier study). Great variation (069%) was found among institutions in success rate of parent-rearing. Several enclosure and husbandry parameters were not variable enough to assess their impact on reproduction. Recommendations for optimising conditions for captive breeding include keeping as large a population as possible in a concrete enclosure with a large pool area, while providing sand and gravel as nesting material. Bird density may be important, but the authors did not detect detrimental effects on breeding for densities up to 0.25 birds per m2. Adult mortality can be minimised by exhibiting Humboldt penguins in single-species exhibits and avoiding chlorination of pool water.]
Brown, J.L., Bellem, A.C., Fouraker, M., Wildt, D.E., and Roth, T.L.: Comparative analysis of gonadal and adrenal activity in the black and white rhinoceros in North America by non-invasive endocrine monitoring. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 6 (2001), pp. 463486. [Patterns of fecal reproductive steroid metabolites and adrenal corticoids were characterized for 12- to 24-month periods in 26 (10.16) black and 19 (6.13) white rhinos at 14 zoos. All black females exhibited at least some ovarian cyclicity, though cycles were often erratic, with many being shorter or longer than the average of 26.8 ± 0.5 days. Five females exhibited periods of acyclicity of 210-month duration that were unrelated to season. One complete and seven partial pregnancies were evaluated in the black rhinoceros. Females resumed cyclicity within three months post-partum, before calves were weaned. Almost half of white females (6 of 13) showed no evidence of ovarian cyclicity. Of the cycles observed, five were `short' and 24 were `long'. Only two females cycled continuously throughout the study; one had both long and short cycles, whereas the other exhibited long cycles only. Fecal estrogen excretion was variable, and profiles were not useful for characterizing follicular activity or diagnosing pregnancy in either species. Males of both species showed no evidence of seasonality on the basis of fecal androgen profiles. Because only three (15.8%) of the white rhinos in this study were 20 years old or less, compared to 19 (73.1%) of the black rhinos, the impact of age on reproductive and adrenal activity needs to be evaluated further. Considering the already advanced average age of the North American white rhino population, problems with erratic or quiescent ovarian activity are likely to worsen. Stress possibly related to restricted space in captive conditions may be a factor, and assessing this should be a high priority for future research.]
Campbell, J.L., Glenn, K.M., Grossi, B., and Eisemann, J.H.: Use of local North Carolina browse species to supplement the diet of a captive colony of folivorous primates (Propithecus sp.). Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 6 (2001), pp. 447461. [The nutrient content and intake of local browse was evaluated for use as a supplement to a herbivorous primate diet of commercial biscuit and assorted vegetables and fruit. Twice weekly for six months, total dietary intakes were determined for two groups of sifakas (Propithecus d. diadema, P. tattersalli and P. verreauxi coquereli) at Duke University Primate Center. Three browse species, shining-leaf sumac (Rhus copallina), mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) and sweet gum (Liquidambar styrachiflua) were analysed for dry matter, energy, fiber, and nitrogen content. The animals were selective in their browse consumption and favored one species (R. copallina) over the others offered. With the exception of R. copallina, the animals generally consumed only the immature leaves, flowers, or seeds. Some variation occurred among species and seasonally in dry matter, fiber, and nitrogen content among the woody plants offered. Browse contributed approximately 40% and 30% of total daily dry matter intake for groups 1 and 2 respectively. Increased fiber density can be a major benefit of browse use, and because of the significant contribution it can make to the diet, its nutrient composition should be considered as a part of the total diet.]
Gage, T.B.: Age-specific fecundity of mammalian populations: a test of three mathematical models. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 6 (2001), pp. 487499.
Haft, J.: Beobachtungen zu Balzverhalten und Jugendentwicklung beim Zwerg-Epaulettenflughund, Micropteropus pusillus Peters, 1868 (Mammalia: Megachiroptera: Epomophorini). (Notes on mating behaviour and infant development of dwarf epauletted fruit bat.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 2 (2002), pp. 6167. [German, with very brief English summary.]
Honigs, S., Gettmann, W., and Greven, H.: Verhaltensbeobachtungen an Gundis (Ctenodactylus gundi Rothmann, 1776). (Behavioural observations of gundis.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 2 (2002), pp. 68100. [German, with English summary. Five groups of gundis in the Aquazoo, Düsseldorf, were observed from March to December 1999. They were active mainly in the early morning but also in the afternoon and evening. Basking took up 33% of observed time on average, resting 29.1%, feeding 9.9%, cleaning 8.2%, and other types of comfort behaviour (such as bathing in the sand, stretching etc.) 1.4%. Other activities (e.g. climbing, burrowing, vocalizations) took 14.5%. The gundis preferred fibrous plants and lipid-containing food, but not hard-shelled dried food. Adults consumed c. 10.8 g of dried food per day. The animals were able to hold food with the forelegs. They did not need to drink water if sufficient fresh material was provided. They had regular defecation sites, which they very likely marked with urine and/or anal secretions. The hierarchy of males within an established group of 4.3 animals was largely linear, and individuals fed side by side without aggression; `foreign' conspecifics, however, were attacked. When animals nestled up to conspecifics they favoured the dominant ones. Gundis have a large repertoire of sounds. When the young called for their mother or when an adult approached, they chirped intensely. Early in the morning the adults vocalized a series of whistles. Copulations took place as in other rodents. Males did not court females. During the observation period 18 young (more twins than singles) were born from four females kept in the different enclosures. The precocial newborn weighed between 24 and 40 g at birth. Up to the age of three days, members of the group were chased away from the young by the dominant male and the mother; after that, they also took care of the offspring.]
Lindburg, D.G., Czekala, N.M., and Swaisgood, R.R.: Hormonal and behavioral relationships during estrus in the giant panda. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 6 (2001), pp. 537543. [Giant pandas are today appearing in Western zoos on a long-term loan basis. Among the benefits arising from captive studies of these animals are opportunities for increasing knowledge of reproductive cycles, which may ultimately lead to a better understanding of reproduction in wild-living populations. Earlier accounts of reproductive cycles in captive pandas have described both behavior and hormonal excretions, but with rare exceptions not concurrently in the same individual. In this report, the authors present a composite picture of behavior and hormonal data from three annual estrous episodes in one female, showing changes over time in these two data sets, and relationships between them. The data revealed a high degree of regularity in both estrogen profiles and the temporal pattern of associated behaviors. The birth of a live cub in the last of the three seasons, using artificial insemination, confirmed the time of ovulation as occurring a day or so after a peak in urinary estrogen values. The authors examined the occurrence of female scent-marking, rear presentations, chirp and bleat vocalizations, and the tail-up display, and plotted their occurrence relative to the underlying estrogen values. They conclude that these behaviors may be regarded as reliable signs of estrus in the giant panda, but that estrogen may have a triggering effect rather than a directly causal one in their expression, and that in both the time and form of their occurrence the behaviors most likely vary between females and seasons.]
Meyer, W.: Die tubulären Hautdrüsen in der allgemeinen Körperdecke von Primaten, mit einer Kennzeichnung phylogenetischer und biologischer Zusammenhänge. (The tubular glands in the hairy skin of primates, with a characterisation of phylogenetic and biological interrelationships.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 2 (2002), pp. 107123. [German, with English summary.]
Schmidt, H.: Born to be wild: Europese wilde kat. (European wild cat.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 1 (2002), pp. 2023. [Dutch, with English summary. Wild cats are believed to have originated in Africa, and the domestic cat (Felis silvestris catus) appears to be genetically more similar to the African wild cat (F. s. lybica) than to the European wild cat (F. s. silvestris). While differences in the tail and skull are obvious between domestic cats and European wild cats, hybrids of these two taxa are fertile. European wild cats have a vast range, but loss of habitat and hunting has greatly reduced their numbers. Because of their huge range and low visibility, the seriousness of the European wild cats' decline has largely gone unnoticed. While it is known that wild cats were still found in the Netherlands in the 17th century, their extirpation in this country was not remarked until long after it disappeared. Live European wild cats are seldom seen: their presence is usually identified through prey (mostly small mammals and birds) remains, scats, and discovery of dead wild cats. Although wild cats are sometimes shot by hunters who mistake them for feral cats, removal of feral cats is nonetheless seen as important for maintaining the genetic purity of wild cats as hybridization occurs so readily. Plans were developed in the 1980s to reintroduce European wild cats to parts of Germany, where the species has also not fared well. The project was initiated by Günther Worel, with the support of various German nature organizations and the regional Bavarian forestry department. The first wild cats were released in 1984, and since 1989 Rotterdam Zoo has sent 23 cats reared at the zoo to the project. There has been considerable discussion with the scientific community regarding the merits of this project, as the genetic purity of the cats is questioned and little information regarding the fate of the released cats is available. Methods to carry out the project so that it will increasingly fulfil the IUCN reintroduction guidelines were agreed on at a symposium in 2000. An estimated 70% of the released cats do not make it through the first year; however, 50% first-year mortality is normally experienced in natural populations. While mistakes have been made in the German project, it is one of the few reintroduction projects that can be considered successful, and participation in it is fulfilling to zoo personnel eager to rear endangered species that can actually be returned to the wild.]
Schürer, U.: Zwillinge bei Kalifornischen Seelöwen (Zalophus californianus) im Zoologischen Garten Wuppertal. (Twin Californian sea lions at Wuppertal Zoo.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 2 (2002), pp. 101103. [German, with very brief English summary. The author notes other captive births of twins in this species.]
Seres, M., Aureli, F., and de Waal, F.B.M.: Successful formation of a large chimpanzee group out of two pre-existing subgroups. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 6 (2001), pp. 501515. [Nineteen chimpanzees from pre-existing subgroups were introduced into a social group at Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center, Georgia. The group included two adult males, six adult females along with six dependent infants, and five unrelated juveniles, four of whom had been hand-raised in a nursery unit. The introduction process took more than three weeks, and was completed without major injuries. The introductions combined with four years of follow-up data on aggression, grooming, and affiliative behavior confirm that even chimpanzees from an environment that does not promote complex social skills can be formed into a large multimalemultifemale group. During the introductions, there were low rates of agonistic behavior and high rates of affiliative behavior among the adult females. The two adult males showed contact aggression during the first ten minutes, after which such behavior virtually disappeared, whereas affiliative behavior increased. Three months after their first introduction, the two males reversed dominance ranks within the group, and hierarchical stability has been maintained since. During the four-year post-introductory period, grooming rates slightly decreased, but group cohesion was maintained. The frequency of aggression among all adults, including the males, increased during the four-year period, but aggression was generally of low intensity after the first year.]
van der Zanden, R.: EEP's in dierentuinland, insecten: vruchtbaar pionierswerk. (EEPs in the zoo, insects: fruitful pioneering.) De Harpij Vol. 21, No. 1 (2002), pp. 26. [Dutch, with English summary. Ko Veltman, a full-time keeper in the insectarium at Amsterdam Zoo, co-chairs the EAZA Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Advisory Group (TITAG) with Paul Pearce-Kelly of London Zoo. While insects comprise three-fourths of the world's animals, and many species are threatened, recognition of conservation issues has been slow in development. Establishment of invertebrate breeding programmes has lagged behind that for other animal groups: of the 136 EEPs, only one the Partula snail EEP is for an invertebrate. The TITAG, consisting of 41 members, interacts regularly via the TITAG `listserv' [internet mailing list]. Husbandry issues and surplus and wanted animals are frequent topics. There are several breeding programmes for invertebrates in development. Dutch and English zoos are working together on a programme for the mole-cricket (Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa). A project to study and breed the threatened southern European cricket Saga pedo, a species in which eggs take four to six years to hatch, is in progress. Three invertebrate taxa from Frégate Island in the Seychelles are being bred in European zoos because they are now threatened in situ through invasion of rats. Five zoos in three countries are working together to carry out a plan developed by a keeper at Rotterdam Zoo for breeding the threatened Jamaican butterfly Papilio homerus, now numbering only hundreds of individuals in the wild. The TITAG is striving to improve communication between European zoo personnel working with insects, to intensify relationships with national conservation organizations and to develop a European collection plan.]
Wiesner, H., and Maltzan, J.: Glyzinienvergiftung (Wisteria sinensis) bei einem jungen Gorilla. Fallbericht. (Report on a case of wisteria poisoning in a young gorilla.) Der Zoologische Garten Vol. 72, No. 2 (2002), pp. 104106. [German, no English summary. Munich Zoo.]
Young, K.M., Brown, J.L., and Goodrowe, K.L.: Characterization of reproductive cycles and adrenal activity in the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) by fecal hormone analysis. Zoo Biology Vol. 20, No. 6 (2001), pp. 517536.
Publishers of the periodicals listed:
De Harpij, Stichting De Harpij, Van Aerssenlaan 49, 3039 KE Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Zoo Biology, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158, U.S.A.
Der Zoologische Garten, Urban & Fischer Verlag GmbH, P.O. Box 100537, D-07705 Jena, Germany.