1. Conservation In the Park "Ex-Situ"
As species like the Babirusa grow ever rarer in the wild there is a critical need, and many top zoos have made agreements at international level, to co-operate and contribute to conservation.
As one of the members of European Association of Zoos and Aquaria most of the species here at South Lakes Wild Animal Park are here as part of international breeding programmes (either EEP or ESB) - In 2008 we celebrated the “biggest” births in the history of the park and the parks programmes with the arrival of 2 White Rhino calves born within weeks of each other.
After months of planning & building, the International Breeding Programme approved the park and our newly built facilities to receive rhinos and In March 1998 the very first rhinos arrived at the park. Our 2 males you will see today Mazungu – came to us from Whipsnade Wild Animal Park where he was born on the 8th April 1997, and Huubke came to us from Safari Beekse Bergen in Holland where he was born on 14th January 1996. In 2003 Park Director made a visit to a conservation breeding reserve in Durban South Africa where he chose two females to join Mazungu and Huubke and on Saturday 27th September 2003 females Tala and Ntombi aged 3 1/2 arrived . The pair have been inseperable from Mazungu ever since.
In March 2007 the park celebrated when scientists confirmed both females Ntombi and Tala were pregnant and 2008 was an amazing year in the history of the park with the birth of 2 White Rhino calves. Mum Ntombi gave birth first on the 1st June to female Nyala then at approximately 3.50pm on September 11th mum Tala gave birth to male Zimba. Thanks to the BBC Cumbria webcam we have some amazing shots of the Nyalas birth which you will see in the photos section.
With only a handful of calves born in Europe in the last 12 months and with a gestation period of 15 months these 2 are certainly special.
The park has also celebrated breeding success throughout other programmes with births from animals including:
Mandrill White Rhino
Black Footed Penguins Belted Ruffed Lemur
Squirrel Monkey Babirusa
Red Kangaroo Black and White Ruffed Lemur
Cotton Topped Tamarin Rodriguez Fruit Bat
Western Grey Kangaroo White Fronted Brown Lemur
Geoffroy’s Marmoset Brush Tailed Bettong
White Handed Gibbon Red Ruffed Lemur
Emperor Tamarin River Sand Wallaby
Siamang Black Lemur
Sulewesi Black Macaque Swamp Wallaby
Colombian Spider Monkey Ring Tailed Lemur
Alaotran Gentle Lemur Mongoose Lemur
In 2009 we hope to bring you further breeding success stories including Lowland Tapir & Sumatran Tigers where mating has been observed, Andean Bear (pregnancies expected 2009).
As one of the 305 members of EAZA – European Association for Zoos and Aquaria – spread over 34 countries South Lakes Wild Animal Park is actively involved in captive breeding programmes.
EEP: European Endangered Species Programme – Following its launch in 1985 the number of species co-ordinated throughout Europe has grown from the initial 17 to over 150 today. The EEP is the most intensive type of population management, each species has a species committee and a co-ordinator who collects information on all the animals of the species held in zoos. It is the co-ordinators role, with the aid of the committee to keep up to date with all the latest research and produce a plan for the future management of the species. This enables a tight control to be held over the genetics and improve the long term viability of these species in captive management
ESB: European Studbook – is less intensive than the EEP programmes – for less threatened species. The studbook keeper collects all the data for the animals – any births, deaths and transfers, from all zoos that hold the animals. Like the EEP zoos ask the co-ordinator for recommendations on breeding and or transfers. Today South Lakes Wild Animal Park is proud to co-ordinate 8 European Studbooks…. Agile Wallaby, Tammar Wallaby, Swamp Wallaby, Brush Tailed Rock Wallaby, Red Kangaroo, Western Grey Kangaroo, Eastern Grey Kangaroo and the Lar Gibbon. Look out for the programme symbols throughout this book.
Here at South Lakes we take an active part in over 30 international breeding programmes and play a very important role as co-ordinators for a number of species including the White Handed Lar Gibbon, Red Kangaroos, Western Grey Kangaroo..... Which means besides keeping up to date with all the latest research and producing a plan for the future management of the species, whenever any zoo in Europe wishes to breed, move or obtain any Gibbons or Kangaroos they are advised to consult us here . This enables a tight control to be held over the genetics and improve the long term viability of these species in captive management.