Thursday, August 01, 2002

And a declining captive chimpanzee population would be a bad thing why?


Zoos put chimps on birth control to keep breeds pure
The Asahi Shimbun

Zoos are putting chimpanzees on the pill to stop them from giving birth to mixed breed chimpanzees.

Chimpanzees are classified into four subspecies according to their habitats-East African, West African, Central African and Nigerian. They are not migratory animals and do not interbreed under natural circumstances.

But until recently, Japanese zoos and research facilities have let their chimps breed randomly, unaware of what subspecies their chimpanzees belong to. When they tried to obtain chimps from their counterparts in Western nations, they were turned down for that reason. Western facilities began distinguishing chimpanzee subspecies about a decade ago and refuse to do business with zoos and research centers that do not follow suit....

While some researchers say crossbreeding is not harmful unless the animals return to the wild, Yoshihara disagrees.

"We need to control the population of crossbreeds, and at the same time prevent incest from occurring. But that would reduce the chances of acceptable mating, which may cause the steadily increasing chimpanzee population in Japan to decline drastically,'' he said....