Zoo Welcomes First Beautiful Baby Banteng
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Zoo Welcomes First Beautiful Baby Banteng
Edinburgh Zoo’s hoofstock keepers have welcomed their first ever beautiful banteng calf! Although only four weeks old, the bubbly boy loves to canter around outdoors with his parents.
The calf, who has been named Kala, was born to resident banteng Tino and Leticia and is the first ever banteng calf to be born at Edinburgh Zoo. Dad Tino was born in July 2007 and he arrived at Edinburgh Zoo in 2011 from Wroclaw and mum Leticia was born in 2001 and arrived in 2012 from Munich.
Listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List, banteng are native to South East Asia, with hunting and habitat loss as the two biggest threats to the species. They are very close to becoming locally extinct in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.
Lorna Hughes, Team Leader of Hoofstock and Primates at Edinburgh Zoo, said:
“Kala is doing really well; it is great to see him out and about after such a long wait. He’s going from strength to strength and is already proving very popular with our visitors – he certainly has a lot of character! This birth is a positive step in helping towards the conservation of these endangered animals as well as educating visitors about their plight.”
Banteng females give birth to a single calf after a pregnancy that lasts 285 days. The banteng baby will stay close to mum Leticia for around 6 to 9 months, then he will start venturing and exploring further.
Banteng, also known as Tembadau, live in herds of between two and 40 individuals. They like to feed mainly on grasses, bamboo, leaves and fruits and are more active at night due to human encroachment on their natural environment.
Mature males have a dark brown coat, while females are a much lighter brown, with a dark strip down their back, making it very easy to distinguish between the sexes. The baby banteng although born with a light brown coat like all male banteng calves, will turn the more prominent darker colour as he reaches maturity.
Monday, March 3, 2014
Al Ain Zoo Completes Successful Animal Exchange with Al Areen Wildlife Park in Bahrain
- Endangered species, including the Dama gazelle, Arabian oryx, Scimitar-horned oryx, Arabian sand cat, and Arabian wolf, exchanged to enhance genetic diversity-
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates, 03 March 2014: As a leader in arid wildlife conservation and as part of its commitment to improving genetic diversity, Al Ain Zoo has successfully conducted an animal exchange with Al Areen Wildlife Park in Bahrain. The initiative comprised the exchange of endangered species, including Dama gazelle, Arabian oryx, Scimitar-horned oryx, Arabian sand cat, Arabian wolves, African turtles, elands, wildebeest and ponies.
The animals were exchanged over a period of four days following months of careful coordination, planning and monitoring by both organisations. Al Ain Zoo welcomed 17 animals from Al Areen Wildlife Park, and the Zoo in turn arranged for 34 animals to be transported to the Wildlife Park.
All the animals involved in the exchange underwent a series of medical checks and were issued accredited certifications, including special certificates for animals listed under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The animals were then placed under quarantine for approximately one month to ensure their safety and rule out any medical problems, or diseases. After successfully completing health checks, the animals will take their place in their new home. A female Arabian sand cat that has already passed its health checks will soon be introduced to the existing group at Al Ain Zoo, which houses the largest population of captive Arabian sand cats in the world.
Commenting on the successful exchange, H.E. Ghanim Al Hajeri, Director General of the Zoo & Aquarium Public Institution in Al Ain, said:
“Al Ain Zoo is home to internationally important conservation programmes, and has long been active in the field of wildlife preservation and conservation. In-breeding challenges arise when groups of animals live together for long periods of time, and such challenges must be appropriately managed to conserve these species. Al Ain Zoo’s collaboration with Al Areen Wildlife Park falls directly in line with our commitment to protect critically endangered species, ensuring the individuals that we house are genetically compatible.”
Al Ain Zoo’s efforts in wildlife conservation include captive management, conservation research, captive breeding, propagation, and the reintroduction of endangered species in to the wild whenever possible.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Species conservation poised to benefit from DNA advances
A biologist at the University of York is part of an international team which has shown that advanced DNA sequencing technologies can be used to accurately measure the levels of inbreeding in wild animal populations.
The research by senior author Dr Kanchon Dasmahapatra, of the Department of Biology at York, and led by Dr Joseph Hoffman, of the Department of Animal Behaviour, Bielefeld University, Germany, may help efforts to conserve rare species.
Laboratory studies show that inbreeding reduces fitness. However, studying the impact of inbreeding in wild populations has previously been challenging because this requires a detailed family tree. Previous DNA studies trying to establish the link between inbreeding and fitness in wild animals had limited success as they used only a small number of genetic markers – around 10.
But the new research, published in PNAS, has used high throughput sequencing, generating more than 10,000 genetic markers, to assess inbreeding in a captive mouse population as well as in wild harbour seals.
Using a zoo population of mice with a known family tree, the researchers first checked the validity of their method for measuring inbreeding. They then carried out autopsies and took DNA samples from harbour seals stranded on Dutch beaches. The study revealed that inbred individuals were more likely to suffer from lung parasite infection.
Dr Hoffman said: "We have shown that in some species inbreeding in the wild may be a bigger problem than previously thought."
Dr Dasmahapatra explained: "This technique can be used to establish if there is an inbreeding problem in wild populations so that possible remedial action can be taken."
The study included scientists from University College London, the British Antarctic Survey, Erasmus University and Utrecht University in The Netherlands, CNRS Montpellier, France, and Chicago Zoological Society, USA.
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Laurie leaves ISIS
I was sad to learn that Laurie Bingaman Lackey will be parting company with ISIS. Anyone, anywhere in the zoos around the world which is party to the International Species Inventory System will be familiar with Laurie. Her tireless work keeping our records in order, answering correspondence has been greatly appreciated by me. Many will also be familiar with her from the training programmes she has run. I know that all will join with me in wishing her well for the future.
6th Annual Art and Science of Animal Training Conference
Saturday, March 22nd, 2014
University of North Texas
9:00am – 6:30pm
Registration now open!
For more information please click