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  • Written by Lajos Endrédi
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 17633

Small, Dangerous, Endangered – Keeping Anoas in Zoos

Lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis) in Szeged Zoo (photo: elajos)Anoas are the smallest buffalo species, so they are called midget buffaloes as well. However, they are small only compared to the giant water and African buffaloes (Bubalus arnee and Syncerus caffer), since they can weigh more than 200 kg (441 pounds) and they can be just as dangerous to humans, or even more so. They are endangered in the wild and rare in zoos too, so lowland anoas are kept under supervision of species programmes. Although their needs and behaviour resemble those of their large relatives, there are also some differences which determine their keeping and housing.

  • Written by Tibor Tóth
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 17844

Birds in Black (and White)

African penguin chick (photo: Thicius)Penguins are one of the newest superstars both in TV programmes and in the movies, so these birds are one of the most famous animals nowadays. But do you know all the important information about them? For example about their problems in nature? Do you know even one? Or do we only see their fame and shine...

  • Written by Lajos Endrédi
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 15658

How to Keep Short-Eared Elephant Shrews?

Long snout and long tongue (photo: elajos)A quick little plush ball with a long snout – this is the short-eared elephant shrew (Macroscelides proboscideus), also known as the round-eared sengi. They are not only funny and cute, but very interesting animals as well, which should have attracted more attention in zoos. Even if their keeping is quite different from many other similarly small mammals, it is not an impossible task… So, I try to summarize some advice to help you with keeping this species.

Why are elephant shrews so interesting? They are not rodents, neither insectivorous animals, and – I suppose the scientists who gave the name did not know it – they are in fact related to elephants, as both groups are members of the Afrotheria superorder. Their behaviour is also surprising, quite different from what you would expect from these small animals...

  • Written by Lajos Endrédi
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 47444

How Difficult Is It to Keep Naked Mole Rats?

Naked mole rat with a newborn baby (photo: elajos)The naked mole rat (Heterocephalus glaber) is undoubtedly one of the strangest animals in the world. It is natural that it has special requirements regarding keeping conditions. These predicted difficulties may be the reason why a lot of zoos are afraid of keeping them. However, this species is a good example of ‘good story animals’ – they are very interesting for the visitors as well as good subjects of zoo educational work. So, is it worth keeping naked mole rats? I am sure it is; they are not as mystical as we considered before.

  • Written by Krisztian Svabik
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 15680

A Frequently Asked Question in Zoos: How Long does This Animal Live?

The oldest captive Onager (Equus hemionus), she lived at Budapest Zoo until the age of 34 years (photo: Christian)Explaining some Definitions
A significant interest was dedicated to the topic of longevity in mammals in recent years; a lot of results of scientific research have been published with a special focus on zoo animals. First of all this short summary wishes to explain some of the main definitions related to this subject, like the term maximum longevity, mean life expectancy, relative life expectancy, survivorship and mortality. The commonly used parameters used to determine population management success in zoo animals are the following, modified by CLUBB et al. 2008. and CLAUSS et al. 2010.

Maximum longevity is the published age record, this data is valid for a single animal and not representative for the whole population (unit of measurement is year).
Mean (or median) life expectancy is the number of years an individual is expected to live, can be determined for different age classes and makes comparison possible between populations of the same species (unit of measurement is year).

  • Written by Tamás Veress
  • Category: Animals
  • Hits: 18160

How to Become a Successful North American Tree Porcupine Keeper

North American tree porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) (photo: Damson)The North American tree porcupine seems like an easy-to-keep animal: it lives in North America, so there is no need for an indoor facility, it is a rodent, it feeds on any vegetables and fruits, and it is a slow-moving animal, it does not jump, it only climbs, therefore you can build it a simple enclosure. But if you start keeping this species, you can easily face problems you have not taken into account in advance. Let’s see how you can keep this species successfully.

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