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Mixing species

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Raymo2477, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Raymo2477

    Raymo2477 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I'm at the San Diego zoo right now. The have a habitat with Russians, Marginateds, and Euro pond turtles.

    I've always heard mixing was bad. If so why is a zoo doing it?
  2. Raymo2477

    Raymo2477 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Pic of the marginated

    Attached Files:

  3. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    It is done.
    I'm sure that a zoo has more at its disposal to take on most situations that occur than just a casual keeper
    They likely lacked the room for individual habitats or felt that there wasn't enough interest to warrant it.
    I've also seen differently species housed together.
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Ray,
    Zoos are not usually a shining how to do things. We could start a list of all sorts of zoo failures that would go on for many pages. There are many possible explanations for this including ignorance, bureaucracy, lack of space, etc...

    Do you doubt that different species can pass novel diseases back and forth? Do you doubt that whole collections have been lost due to cross contamination from different species?

    Mixing species is not always a 100% guaranteed instant death sentence. Some percentage of the time mixed species enclosures do not result in the death of every occupant. The problem is that some other percentage of the time mixing species DOES result in the death of all or some of the inhabitants.

    The only wise advice is to not mix species. I wish more zoos would set better examples.
    Sara G., Randi, wellington and 4 others like this.
  5. Merrick

    Merrick Well-Known Member

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    Their are tons of flaws of husbandry in zoos you just have to know what to look for
  6. Raymo2477

    Raymo2477 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I agree that cohabitation can result in more problems than its worth...just suprised to see it at a 'good' zoo.
  7. Raymo2477

    Raymo2477 Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I do have a question if species naturally overlap is it bad...like having Eastern Box with say a Wood turtle?
  8. enchilada

    enchilada Well-Known Member

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    But look at their Radiata and Galapagos enclosure , they aint mixing with any other tortoises.
    my conclusion is , they mix Russians and Marginateds because they are cheap and common
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I would consider that to be less of a risk than animals from different continents or entirely different regions within a continent.

    Personally I don't know if an eastern box turtle would ever come into contact with a wood turtle in the wild. Would they?

    In addition to disease factor, there is also the behavioral incompatibility factor. Russians are scrappy. Margies less so.
  10. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Cohabitation of the same species, let alone different ones, can lead to fighting, bullying, the passing on of pathogens and death, hence quarantine and the need for separate enclosures, depending on species and space available etc.
    Mixing species is bound to be more dangerous.
    kathyth likes this.
  11. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Since joining this forum, I have learned that Zoos don't do the best for the animals or know as much about them as I thought they did. I used to think they were the ones to know everything about the animals they keep and to feed and house them they proper way. Since joining this forum, so not true, at least with tortoises. It's sad, but true. Of course not all Zoos, but I would have to guess most.
    bouaboua likes this.
  12. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Its true with nearly ALL species of all animals. The breakthroughs and the real knowledge are usually gained in the private sector. It is maddening because the big zoo organizations have a very elitist attitude and only want animals in the hands of accredited zoos. They willfully and purposefully try to keep rare animals out of the hands of private professionals like me and the people I work with, yet we are often the ones who supply them with the best animals and teach them how to care for them. It is laughable, frustrating and infuriating at times.
    Tropics, wellington and bouaboua like this.
  13. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

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    Zoos have very strict quarantine protocols. The new animals are tested and re-tested before they are put out in the enclosures. Unless an individual tests for Viruses, Mycoplasma, and Coccidia , etc. mixing species should not be done.
    SarahChelonoidis and bouaboua like this.
  14. Merrick

    Merrick Well-Known Member

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    I can back that up I have close friends and family who work in zoos one even specializes in the quarantine zone at zoo miami. They do extensive testing, but they still get things wrong husbandry wise at times but this could also be because of monetary reasons.
  15. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    …and some tortoises diseases are not easy to spot and are nearly impossible to diagnose in a live tortoise even with a battery of expensive tests.

    Ask me how I know this...
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  16. domalle

    domalle Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Supporter

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    Yes, eastern box turtles and wood turtles are indigenous to same areas in some parts of their respective realms. But their activity periods
    may vary and they don't share the same niche. So individuals of each species may pass by each other.
    In captivity tho the no mixing rule would apply.
  17. ZEROPILOT

    ZEROPILOT Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

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    I'm finding this out for myself.
  18. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    The picture you may have had in your mind's eye is a 2 x 3 foot box behind glass. It just isn't like that. The OP did not mention the enclosure it outside bathed in UV all day, is cleaned regularly, has several lizards and is larger than many people's backyards. It's huge, an oval, but I would guesstimate 50 feet by 25 feet. There is a smallish pond at one end with the aquatics, the land area is +/- 90% of it.

    That and the quarantine that zoos use makes this okay-ish.
    MyersTortoise and Tropics like this.
  19. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Did you say crypto?
  20. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    50x25 is smaller then my biggest enclosure and my next to biggest is longer by 2 possibly 3 times, but not as wide and I have way less in mine then most zoos have in theirs. Being a Zoo, they should do better then anyone of us.
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