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Steinau an der Straße, Germany

We tested multiple hypotheses on the occurrence of stereotypic behaviour in leopards (Panthera pardus), snow leopards (Uncia uncia) and tigers (Panthera tigris) at Leipzig Zoo. Stereotypies in all three species occurred exclusively as pacing. Stereotypic pacing was observed in 79% of the 14 animals and occupied on average 19% of the time spent active. Stereotypies were unaffected by species, age, sex and social housing, respectively. Animals showed significantly more stereotypic pacing before feeding. Stereotypic pacing was performed significantly more often in locations from which food arrival could be first viewed. Older animals tended to show more stereotypic pacing after feeding. Animals that generally exhibited more stereotypic behaviour paced significantly more often after feeding. Our results suggest that stereotypies may represent an exaggerated response of food reward. Furthermore, stereotypies may become emancipated from their original motivation over the course of an individual's development. Stereotypies thus could possibly be remedied by increasing the feeding (i.e. reward) frequency, if applied from an animal's early age. © 2010. Source


Schmidt F.,Zoo Leipzig | Franke F.A.,University of Leipzig | Shirley M.H.,British Petroleum | Vliet K.A.,University of Florida | Villanova V.L.,University of Central Florida
International Zoo Yearbook | Year: 2015

The threatened African dwarf crocodiles (genus Osteolaemus) are distributed throughout West and Central Africa. Traditionally two subspecies were described (Osteolaemus tetraspis tetraspis and Osteolaemus tetraspis osborni), although recent molecular studies demonstrate the presence of three allopatric lineages that should be recognized as full species. These highly divergent taxa are distributed in the three major forested biogeographic zones of western Africa: Congolian (Osteolaemus osborni), Lower Guinean (Osteolaemus tetraspis) and Upper Guinean (Osteolaemus sp. nov. cf. tetraspis). Largely because of their diminutive size, dwarf crocodiles are regularly kept in zoos and aquariums worldwide. In Europe, the collection is managed by a European studbook coordinated by Leipzig Zoo, Germany, since 2006, while American zoological institutions do not yet manage these species as part of a studbook programme. To facilitate ex situ conservation efforts, it is important to identify accurately each individual to the appropriate species following the latest systematic understanding of the genus. Population aggregation analysis with mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences was used for both species identification and detection of interspecific hybridization. The results of our study show that only European collections house all three Osteolaemus taxa, although only a single individual O.osborni was confirmed. The most prevelant species present in both European and North American institutions was O.tetraspis. Additionally, several O.sp. nov. cf. tetraspis were identified, likely originating from the Senegambia region, especially in the North American collections. This will represent an important resource for future conservation efforts as Osteolaemus are highly threatened in this region of West Africa. Unfortunately, both zoo populations showed relatively high frequencies (c. 25-28%) of hybridization between O.tetraspis and O.sp. nov. cf. tetraspis bred in captivity. We highly recommend that zoological institutions ensure they know the species identity of the Osteolaemus they maintain and work together to transfer individuals into single-species colonies to avoid further hybridization. In the USA, this may necessitate the creation of a studbook programme. It may also prove valuable to consider a cooperative programme between the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria and the Association of Zoos & Aquariums, wherein each Association focuses its resources largely on a single Osteolaemus species. This would, however, require trans-Atlantic transfer of individuals. The case study of dwarf crocodiles in zoological institutions reinforces the importance of genetic research in conservation-breeding programmes, highlights the potential for collaboration between European and American zoological institutions for the ex situ conservation of threatened wildlife, and foreshadows some of the regulatory challenges in managing captive populations internationally. © 2014 The Zoological Society of London. Source


Theuss T.,University of Leipzig | Aupperle H.,University of Leipzig | Eulenberger K.,Zoo Leipzig | Schoon H.-A.,University of Leipzig | Richter E.,National Reference Center for Mycobacteria
Journal of Comparative Pathology | Year: 2010

Disseminated infection with Mycobacterium genavense was diagnosed in an adult grizzled giant squirrel (Ratufa macroura). Microscopical examination showed granulomatous inflammation in the brain, kidneys, lungs and maxilla with intracellular acid-fast bacilli. M. genavense and a novel species of Mycobacterium (proposed name 'Mycobacterium lipsiensis') were identified. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. Source


Schwarz C.,University of Leipzig | Grothmann P.,Zoologischer Garten Magdeburg gGmbH | Gottschalk J.,University of Leipzig | Eulenberger K.,Zoo Leipzig | Einspanier A.,University of Leipzig
Tierarztliche Praxis Ausgabe G: Grosstiere - Nutztiere | Year: 2014

Objective: The African black rhino is an endangered species. In Germany there are only five zoos where this species is kept and breeding has not been successful in all of them. In Magdeburg Zoo the last birth occurred in December 2005, and during the following years, no matings could be observed. During the construction of a new enclosure to enable a more natural mating behaviour, the reproduction status of the rhino cows was evaluated and a hormonal treatment was performed. Material and methods: Since 2009, faecal samples from two rhino cows (Diceros bicornis michaeli; "Mana", 30 years old, and "Maleika", 17 years old) were collected periodically, and the pregnanediol-glucuronide (PdG) and oestradiol concentrations were determined using enzyme immunoassay and radioimmunoassay, respectively. Following evaluation of the results, both cows were treated for 12 days with Regumate® Equine, a synthetic progesterone, during the period of PdG-dominance. Results: "Mana" accepted the bull 11 days after completion of the hormonal treatment, and in December 2011 gave birth to a healthy calf. "Maleika" had her first ever oestrus 13 days after completion of the medication and also accepted the bull. Thereafter, she had two regular oestrus cycles with normal mating behaviour. Her first calf was born in July 2012. Conclusion and clinical relevance: The causal treatment of both cows, following a long period of infertility, with synthetic progesterone led to their pregnancy and the birth of healthy calves. The commercial product Regumate® Equine is appropriate to stimulate the sexual cycle in temporarily infertile black rhinos. Attention should be paid to the timing of the medication and the required dose. © Schattauer 2014. Source


Freese F.,Zoo Leipzig | Bernhard A.,Zoo Leipzig | Muller-Deck E.,Zoo Leipzig | Eulenberger K.,Zoo Leipzig
Zoologische Garten | Year: 2013

One immediately after its birth orphaned American porcupine ( Erethizon dorsatum) had to be hand raised. The diet used composed of 12% fatty milk and boiled carrots as well as sun flower oil and minerals. The daily increase of body mass averaged out has been 6. g within the first five weeks.During the first four weeks the porcupine suffered intermittently on severe health problems, mainly on pyaemia and ataxias, which could treated successfully.At first the animal was very sociable, later it tried sometimes to bite the keepers. © 2013. Source

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