Feeds

Oz teen elephant pregnancy sparks protests

Pachyderm underage rumpy-pumpy outrage

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Animals rights groups are none too pleased that Sydney's Taronga zoo has allowed a nine-year-old Asian elephant to get up the duff a full two years before what they consider is the captive pachyderm age of consent.

Elephant Thong Dee is is apparently five months into her 22-month pregnancy, something which has delighted the zoo since, should she go to term, it'd be Oz's first captive elephant birth. The zoo's director, Guy Cooper, enthused: "The zoo is proud to announce this historic event."

However, Erica Martin, Asia Pacific director of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, claimed that "under captive breeding plans elephants should be at least 11-years-old before conceiving", and that letting Thong Dee become heavy with calf was "the equivalent of allowing your 12-year-old daughter to become pregnant".

She thundered: "It is completely irresponsible."

Cooper countered: "The well-being of all animals in our care is of paramount importance and our breeding programmes are carefully managed to exacting standards that ensure our specialist staff employ the latest advice and scientific research."

Thong Dee was one of a group of eight Asian elephants imported from Thailand in November 2006, Reuters notes. Taronga Conservation Society Australia explained that the female elephants, Porntip, Pak Boon, Tang Mo and Thong Dee, were "assessed by reproductive specialists from Germany and found they were eligible for breeding".

The zoo defended that "the earliest Asian Elephant pregnancy in a European zoo was five and a half years", but Bidda Jones, chief scientist with Australia's RSCPA, warned: "We know that calves born in zoos have double the mortality rate in the wild, and this pregnancy will put both mother and calf at great risk.

"Still birth, infanticide and rejection of calves are the main causes of infant mortality and Thong Dee's age and lack of maternal and social experience make this pregnancy very risky." ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
FORGET the CLIMATE: FATTIES are a MUCH BIGGER problem - study
Fat guy? Drink or smoke? You're worse than a TERRORIST
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
HUMAN DNA 'will be FOUND ON MOON' – rockin' boffin Brian Cox
Crowdfund plan to stimulate Blighty's space programme
Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg
Off to the boozer? This delicacy might help mitigate the effects
I'M SO SORRY, sobs Rosetta Brit boffin in 'sexist' sexy shirt storm
'He is just being himself' says proud mum of larger-than-life physicist
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.