Thursday, 3 March 2016

Checking the health of captive rhinos

Date: February 24, 2016
Source: University of Veterinary Medicine -- Vienna

White rhinoceroses are among the largest rhinoceroses in the world. Their natural habitat is southern Africa. Due to the great demand for their horn, the animals are poached intensely and threatened with extinction. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) therefore placed the southern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium s. simum) on the red list of endangered animals. In zoos, southern white rhinoceroses are considered easy to keep. The reproductive success of captive animals has not been so good, however.

The wild animal experts Annika Posautz, Felix Knauer and Chris Walzer from the Research Institute of Wildlife Ecology at Vetmeduni Vienna investigated, among other things, how the housing conditions of southern white rhinoceroses differed in zoos across Europe and which health problems were most common. “We wanted to find out what sorts of problems exist in European zoos and what could be improved. With the exception of the reproductive tract, little is known in the scientific literature about the health of captive rhinos. The animal management also differs from zoo to zoo,” explains Posautz, the study’s first author.

Of 70 zoos contacted, 45 responded to the online survey. One zoo from Israel also took part in the study. The collected data reflect a total of 159 rhinoceroses.

Most common health problems with skin, digestive tract and reproductive organs
The survey showed that dermatological, gastrointestinal and reproductive cases accounted for most of the health problems among the animals. The dermal cases often involved wounds resulting from aggressive interactions with other animals. Colic and enteritis were among the most common gastrointestinal problems reported for white rhinoceroses.

No comments:

Post a Comment

You only need to enter your comment once! Comments will appear once they have been moderated. This is so as to stop the would-be comedian who has been spamming the comments here with inane and often offensive remarks. You know who you are!

Related Posts with Thumbnails