Breeding programs at Zoo Basel
Zoo Basel logo
|Date opened||July 3, 1874|
|Land area||32.12 acres (13.00 ha)|
|Number of animals||6,894 (2008 / about 5,000 in the aquarium)|
|Number of species||645 (2008)|
|Memberships||20 different organizations - among others: Association of Zoos and Aquariums|
The breeding programs at Zoo Basel have had many highlights since the zoos opening in 1874. These include the worldwide first zoo births of an Indian rhinoceros and Greater Flamingo hatch, as well as the first European gorilla birth. Due to Zoo Basel's successful breeding programs, it manages the international studbook for the Indian Rhinoceros and the pygmy hippopotamus, as well as several European studbooks.
- 1 General information
- 2 Cheetahs
- 3 Flamingos
- 4 Indian rhinoceros
- 5 Okapi
- 6 Pygmy hippopotamus
- 7 Somali wild ass
- 8 References
- 9 External links
The zoo is a member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA), the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), and 18 other programs and organizations. In 1935, the forerunner of the WAZA (the International Union of Directors of Zoological Gardens or IUDZG) was founded in Basel.
Breeding program participations
|Animal||Image||Years||Which Studbook(-s)||Animal in Basel|
||International studbook for the Indian Rhinoceros||
||International studbook for the Pygmy hippopotamus||
||Indian Rhinoceros studbook of the European Endangered Species Programme||
|Somali wild ass||
||Somali wild ass studbook of the European Endangered Species Programme||
||European Endangered Species Programme||
Cheetah breeding is difficult in captivity, as males and females live separately in the wild and females are picky in partners. The 30% mortality rate among newborns also lowers breeding success. That is why the new pair of female cheetahs that came to Basel in 2001 did not show interest in the presented males and had no offspring – until "Survivor" came from Vienna in 2006.
Currently in Basel
As of June 2011, the male "Survivor" and two females are living in Basel with two young cheetahs. On June 17, 2009, mother Msichana had two males and a female baby. The youngest cheetah died in the fall of 2009.
For over 50 years Zoo Basel had its flamingo breeding program and hatched over 400 flamingos. Since 2000, every year 20 to 27 young flamingos are hatched in Basel. One of the main reasons for this annual success is the current flamingo exhibit which was built in 1991.
Currently in Basel
As of June 27, 2010, Basel's flamingo herd counts 113 individuals. During the spring of 2010, these birds built 41 nests and between June 5 and June 29, 2010 thirty-three flamingos hatched - of which thirty survived. This is a new record for the zoo, that never had these many flamingo hatches in its history. In a media release on June 22, 2010 zoo officials consider a calm hatching time and ideal weather as reasons for this record.
Zoo Basel hatched the first flamingo, a Chilean flamingo in a European zoo in 1958 and a year later the first Greater flamingo in captivity. While at first Zoo Basel had all six flamingo specieses, it decided to focus on the Greater flamingo in the 1980s.
The Zoo Basel holds international studbook for the Indian Rhinoceros since 1972 and coordinates since 1990 the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), which ensures that the captive Indian rhinoceros population stays as genetically healthy as possible. One of the main reasons for Basel to have these studbooks is due to its successful breeding program.
Currently in Basel
As of September 2012, Ellora (1982), Quetta (1993), Jaffna (Basels stock bull / 1994), Henna (2010), and Jari (2012) live in the Zolli. On July 23, 2010, Ellora gave birth to a rhino girl called Henna, which is Ellora's seventh baby. Henna is unique in Basel's breeding history, as her left front leg is white. A video of Henna's birth can be watched here: rhino birth
In 1952, the first rhino, the bull Gadadhar, arrived in Basel and a year later, the female Joymothi followed. Theses two animals are the parents of Basel's Indian rhino breeding program.
On September 14, 1956, the birth of rhino boy Rudra (the first Indian rhino born in a zoo) started Basel's Indian rhino success story. He was the son of rhino bull Gadadharand the female Joymothi that came from Kaziranga National Park. Two hours after birth he weighted 60.5 kilo and was 105 cm long and quickly gained 1.5 kilos per day. In 1959, Rudra was transferred to the Milwaukee County Zoo, where he only became once a father until his death.
As of September 2012, 33 Indian rhinos were born in Basel out of about 80 births worldwide. Therefore, most of the 174 Indian rhinoceros's in zoos around the globe are somehow related to the rhino population in Basel.
The Indian rhinoceros house and outdoor exhibit were built in 1959, extensively renovated from 2006 to 2008, and re-opened in Mai 2008. In the new rhinoceros exhibit, the rhinos, are sharing the outdoor exhibit with Muntjacs, and Oriental Small-clawed Otters. As of July 2010, the three different specices lived together with no incidents. The 2.5-ton-rhinoceroses are sharing their food with the 30-kilogram-Muntjacs or go into one of four ponds where the Asian otters are swimming around the rhinos.
The Zolli supports «Indian Rhino Vision 2020», which intends to increase the wild Indian rhino population to 3'000 animals. The partnership with the Orang National Park in India, where currently about 60 rhinos live, is one of the projects supported. In 2008, out of every day pass sold 15 Rappen ($0.14 USD) and out of every annual pass CHF 1.50 ($1.45) went to the Rhino Vision, totaling CHF 100'000 ($99,900).
Worldwide, there are about 160 okapis living in zoos. In Europe, there are about 55. Since Basel Zoo's first zoo birth in 1957, twenty-two okapis have been born in Basel (2009).
Currently in Basel
The first okapi that arrived in Basel on June 16, 1949, was the bull Bambe. However, after only 66 days, he died due to liver parasites. Nanouk (1955) and Bibi (1956) followed him and laid the foundation of Basel's successful okapi breeding program.
Okapi preservation efforts
All okapi zoos (including Basel) in Europe and North America are supporting the Okapi Wildlife Reserve managed by the Gilman International Conservation Organization, in the Ituri Rainforest (Democratic Republic of the Congo). In 2008, Zoo Basel donated $5,000 to the Gilman Conservation.
Zoo Basel oversees the international studbook for the pygmy hippopotamus. Since the construction of the rhino exhibit, the pygmy hippos can only be viewed in their outdoor exhibits. During the winter they are inside.
In 1928, the first animals arrived in Basel and started a breeding program in which 53 hippos wereborn and successfully raised. These animals and their offspring are living today in zoos all over the globe.
Somali wild ass
The Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somalicus) is a wild donkey, a subspecies of the African Wild Ass. It is extremely endangered, as there are likely less than 1000 animals (or even 700) in the wild. There are about 200 individuals in zoos around the globe, of which 35 were born in Basel.
Zoo Basel manages the European studbook for the Somali wild ass and coordinates the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). All European wild donkeys are either descendants of the original group at Zoo Basel or of 12 others that came from the Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve in Israel in 1972.
Currently in Basel
As of December 16, 2010, there are four Somali wild donkeys in Basel: The stallion "Ares" (22), three females (among them "Yogala"-12), and the baby girl "Hakaba."
Basel started having Somali wild asses in 1970 and had its first birth in 1972. Since then, 11 stallions and 24 females were born and survived childhood.
- (German) 50 JAHRE FLAMINGOZUCHT UND FLAMINGOFORSCHUNG IM ZOO BASEL Zoo Basel, written 2008-08-13, retrieved 2012-09-05
- (English) First zoo-born gorilla reaches half a century swissinfo.ch, written 2009-09-23, retrieved 2012-09-06
- (German) Panzernashorngeburt im Zoo Basel. Zoo Basel, written 2010-07-27, retrieved 2010-07-27
- (German) Zwergflusspferd. Zoo Basel, retrieved 2012-07-26
- (German) Zwergflusspferd zurück in Basel. Zoo Basel, written 2008-6-11, retrieved 2012-07-26
- (German) Kängurus und Heuschrecken auf Reisen - Partnertausch bei Zootieren. Zoo Basel, written 2010-10-13, retrieved 2012-07-27
- (German) Zweites Somali-Wildeselfohlen im Zolli geboren. Zoo Basel, written 2007-12-27, retrieved 2012-07-27
- (German) Doppelte Jungtierfreude bei den Kleinen Kudus. Zoo Basel, written 2012-07-26, retrieved 2012-07-26
- (German) Kleiner Kudu. Verband Deutscher Zoodirektoren, written 2012-02-13, retrieved 2012-08-27
- (German) SELTENE NACHZUCHT VON FÜNF JUNGEN GEPARDEN Zoo Basel. written 2007-11-14, retrieved 2012-09-07
- (German) Zolli-Flamingos sorgen für Zucht-Rekord Zoo Basel, written 2010-07-22, retrieved 2012-09-10
- (German) Zoo celebrates 50 years of flamingo breeding Basler Zeitung, written 2008-08-13, retrieved 2010-03-21
- "ERÖFFNUNG DES PANZERNASHORNHAUSES". Zoo Basel. Retrieved 2006-09-13.
- (German) 55 Jahre Panzernashornzucht – Schutz der grauen Riesen nötiger denn je Zoo Basel, written 2010-07-27, retrieved 2011-09-41, retrieved 2011-10-23
- (German) Okapi Hazima soll für Nachwuchs sorgen. Zoo Basel, retrieved 2011-10-23
- http://www.zoobasel.ch/aktuell/detail.php?NEWSID=187&PHPSESSID=34277fba68d5857ecdb43ae645c9831c%7CZoo Basel|INDIAN RHINO VISION (IRV) 2020
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Breeding programs at Zoo Basel.|
- Zoo Basel official website
- Basel Tourism official website
- Zoo Switzerland official website
- Many of Zoo Basel's recent animal births are viewable here