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Bremerhaven, Germany

Gottert T.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Gottert T.,Leibnitz Institute for Primate Research | Schone J.,Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven | Zinner D.,Leibnitz Institute for Primate Research | And 2 more authors.
Mammalia | Year: 2010

In this study we systematically examined species-specific exploration behaviour and behavioural acclimatisation of a black rhino Diceros bicornis founder group post-translocation. The study was carried out in a fenced region, approximately 350 km2 in size and directly adjacent to Etosha National Park in Namibia. Rhinos were radio-tracked and movement data were complemented by detailed habitat descriptions at the centres of rhino activity with vegetation plot sampling. Rhinos used both geological formations of the study area: Otavi dolomite and Etosha calcrete substrate. The latter was dominated by Acacia spp. due to former land use for livestock farming. The size of total and seasonal home ranges and core areas, as well as home range establishment patterns and habitat use, are highly variable among individual rhinos. Home ranges of most individuals from our study are among the largest recorded for the species. We found age class specific patterns of home range establishment, typical mating and social behaviour, seasonal changes of home range and core area size, and clear shifts in spatial behaviour over time. The results provide our best estimate to date for the natural exploration behaviour and behavioural acclimatisation of black rhinos in a semi-arid savannah ecosystem. © 2010 by Walter de Gruyter.

Breeding polar bears has a long tradition in the Zoo am Meer, the "Zoo at the Sea" in Bremerhaven. In the years between 1935 and 1974 three female bears gave birth to 32 cubs and 19 of them were successfully raised. In the following years many attempts to tie in with this tradition failed. Bad constructional conditions and disadvantageous animal pairings were the main reasons for the missing breeding success. After completely reconstructing the polar bear enclosure in the year 2002, as well as extending the breeding area with an additional smaller breeding cave in 2012 and pairing male Lloyd and female Valeska in 2013 a new polar bear birth and upbringing could be experienced after 40 years. Offspring Lale is the 35th cub in Bremerhaven Zoo. © 2014 .

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