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Travelling Bison

Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:31am

Just got back from a trip with one of the keepers taking two male American Plains Bison from Monarto Zoo over to the zoo at Hall’s Gap in Victoria. All went incredibly smoothly... well, except for it taking 2 hours to get them to walk up the raceway into the trailer – nothing happens with 800kg bison bulls until they’re good and ready! Once on board they just sat down and enjoyed the ride. When we opened the trailer at the other end, they wandered out and started eating.

Animal moves are a common occurrence between zoos. Many species held in zoos are managed as a regional population; in most cases a single zoo is unable to keep enough animals for a viable long-term population. A stud-book keeper makes breeding recommendations to maximise genetic diversity and minimise inbreeding in the population. As a result, animals are often moved to between zoos to allow them to breed with their ‘perfect match’. Another reason for animal moves between zoos is for non-breeding animals to be held until their time comes, thus freeing up space for the animals who are breeding.

Dave

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