Zoo gives contraceptives to 60 species amid fears of overcrowding

Endangered animal breeding programmes on hold after TB outbreak

Harriet Agerholm
Saturday 10 March 2018 21:04
Comments
Paignton Zoo in Devon cannot move any animals to other zoos following a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak
Paignton Zoo in Devon cannot move any animals to other zoos following a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak

A zoo is giving its animals contraceptives amid fears of overcrowding.

Paignton Zoo in Devon is not able to move its animals to other zoos because of a tuberculosis (TB) outbreak.

When one antelope in the zoo died of the disease in May last year, 11 other antelope were culled.

It has reinforced fencing around the perimeter of the grounds to attempt to keep out badgers, which are thought to have introduced the disease to the facility.

Now, vets fear the zoo could run out of space and is trying to restrict reproduction.

Contraception including injections, tablets, implants and IUD coils are being given to 60 species of mammal.

Five-year-old lioness Maliya was among those given an implant under a general anaesthetic.

Maliya and male Lucifer are endangered Asiatic lions and are expected to breed to boost the population.

Executive Director of the zoo, Simon Tonge, said it was "frustrating" the contraceptive programme was put on hold.

“Even a single positive case of TB leads to movement restrictions on mammals. This prevents us from being able to move young mammals on to other collections., hence the need to curtail breeding," he said.

“There are lots of fit and healthy breeding animals here, representatives of rare and endangered species, many of which, like the Asiatic lions, are part of international efforts to conserve their species. Maliya and Lucifer are the second most important breeding pair in Europe.

“It’s frustrating, but we have to manage them responsibly until we can resolve the situation. We only have so much space."

He said the zoo hoped to lift the TB-related restrictions soon, but was acting under the direction of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Senior Head Keeper of Mammals Rob Rouse said: “We need to be responsible about managing the space we have so we don’t run out of room."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in