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  #1
Starting Your Own Zoo
Old 03-09-2009

Now their have been threads on Zoochat about your dream zoo and the animals that would be in it etc. But has anyone on Zoochat ever looked into starting their own actual zoo? It would take a lot of money to make it happen and of course a lot of time. I was just interested if anyone had maybe plans or looking into starting their own zoo in the future like myself.
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  #2
Wink i am
Old 03-09-2009

after taking a courase in zoology i hope to build a large urban zoo over 300 hundred acers
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  #3
Old 03-09-2009

I think plenty of people dream of it, I'm just not sure as to weather anyone on here has seriously thought about doing it. You'd have to have a hell of a lot of zoo experience.
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  #4
Old 03-09-2009

Yes a lot of experience would be needed. I am thinking you would either had to start off as private owner of a species of exotic and grow from their.
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  #5
Old 03-09-2009

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Originally Posted by ashley-h View Post
I think plenty of people dream of it, I'm just not sure as to weather anyone on here has seriously thought about doing it. You'd have to have a hell of a lot of zoo experience.
Or be mature and sensible enough to recognise that you need to hire an experienced industry professional to act as zoo director, and be willing to accept their advice when they say that letting people pat the tigers for an extra fee is not a good business idea.

If I ever had the capital I would do it - simply because I care little about the financial implications as long as I have fulfilling work and enough money coming into my personal account to live. I'd enjoy owning a zoo, but I wouldn't do it without being able to hire someone with an industry background to make the day-to-day decisions.

I think, here in Australia, even to think about starting the long grind (and I mean 20-25 years to reach the standard of an Adelaide or Perth) towards having a relatively complete zoo, you'd want to start with at least $1m in personal capital and a willingness to borrow. $5m in starting capital lets you leapfrog to owning the larger carnivores, ungulates and primates pretty quickly.

Of course, you'd need to balance a desire to have a large collection with a desire to have jaw-dropping exhibits. It'd be interesting to see how many of the people on this forum who condemn the sight of wire would change their minds when they were the ones paying the multi-million dollar contracts.
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  #6
building own zoo
Old 03-09-2009

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Originally Posted by kbaker116 View Post
Now their have been threads on Zoochat about your dream zoo and the animals that would be in it etc. But has anyone on Zoochat ever looked into starting their own actual zoo? It would take a lot of money to make it happen and of course a lot of time. I was just interested if anyone had maybe plans or looking into starting their own zoo in the future like myself.
I have many years experience in building my own zoos .Yes it takes a lot of money as well a lot of expertise .You only get one go at doing it right with the local government as well authorities .You need to have other projects or past performance to show all concerned .Its very rewarding as well you have no one to answer to but yourself .The buck stops with you .I have found over the uears many people try to under mind me as well think i have just started a zoo coz it was a good idea at the time .It takes bucket loads of money ,as well a great wife or business partner to pick up the slack .Its 7 days and nights ,full on and no rest .Unless you have great staff who think like you and happy ..I am happy to share any knowledge or support anyone who sets up a zoo .The next is the marketing ,if you don't be careful you can spend 100s of thousands on stupid adverts that don't work . Word of mouth and net working do .I am not telling most of you any thing new .I can only tell you from my experiences..
Tony Greenwoods
Peel Zoo Pinjarra Mandurah Western Australia - Natures Education Centre /www.wombatawareness.com
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  #7
Old 03-09-2009

I think about how I would go about starting a zoo.

Here in Australia I think one would start with a couple of big ungulate paddocks, some bird aviaries, a childrens farm and a great collection of natives. The ungulates could be an American paddock with bison and red deer, and Asian paddock with water buffalo, blackbuck and sambar deer and an African paddock with camels, ostrich and barbary sheep.

Within the next 10 or so years some small mammal species would slowly be added, e.g. monkeys, meerkats, red pandas etc. The number of exotic reptiles would also increase slowly and after 10-15 years you could get boa constrictors etc. After 20 years and being part of ARAZPA the oppurtunites to hold large carnivores (lions, maned wolves), larger ungulates (giraffe, zebra, white rhino, przwalski's horse). And by now the zoo would be very large and could possibly aquire apes or seals.
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  #8
Old 04-09-2009

When any regular business fails it is a disaster for employees, suppliers, shareholders , management & in some cases distributors and customers.When a zoo fails it is all of that PLUS it may be the end of the road for many or all of its animals, difficult or impossible to relocate.Zoos have a spectacular failure rate, but we are mostly familiar with the successes.However there are countless photos to be found in ZOOCHAT from collections which no longer exist.So many new zoos fail to have any realistic business plan , or any perspective on how the zoo would carry on after their death.I mean , you can´t just say to your children "Look , I´m getting on , I want you to take over the family zoo".It´s quite comparable with the case of dog owners.Millions of people acquire dogs with the very best of intentions, but do not have the foresight to plan for the case where the dog may outlast them.Any dog charity will be able to give you hundreds or thousands of cases of much-loved pets who suddenly had nobody to look after them when the owners¨time came.I think there is a lot of that mentality among private zoo owners.A zoo is a team effort and needs a business plan and a certain structure which should help it weather through different classes of problems (death of owner / financial challenges etc etc).Collections should be regularly reassessed to determine dispositions of other zoos to acquire animals in case of contingency.Many private zoo owners, becoming elderly or encountering financial difficulties , have been shocked to find that even endangered animals are often impossible to offload.Let´s say you go bankrupt and among your stock you have a small group of lowland gorilllas.Great, but they may be incompatible wwith animals in other collections or have already over-represented bloodlines.Not so easy.And your elderly elephants may suffer so much from an effort to move them that it they would be finished.If you need to have a good think before becoming a dog owner , multiply it by 1,000 before starting a zoo.If you have everything thought-out, and still want to make a go, good luck to you and we will give you more than enough pointers at ZOOCHAT!
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  #9
Old 05-09-2009

Thanks everyone for the great information especially European Fauna and Peel Zoo!
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  #10
Question Starting your own
Old 19-09-2009

I have been thinking about it for years now. But i wouldnt want it to be like a normal zoo where the animals are in cages. I would want to purchase alot of land and set so much space for each animal and have it as their natural habitat would be. So that if needed the animals would be able to survive in the wild.

Only problem is the funds. Would people be supportive?
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  #11
Old 19-09-2009

seems interesting but id save it for a few years for myself XD
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  #12
Old 19-09-2009

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Originally Posted by EllieLouise View Post
I have been thinking about it for years now. But i wouldnt want it to be like a normal zoo where the animals are in cages. I would want to purchase alot of land and set so much space for each animal and have it as their natural habitat would be. So that if needed the animals would be able to survive in the wild.

Only problem is the funds. Would people be supportive?
Great idea but would your normal visitor wouldn't enjoy a zoo like this? There would be a lot of walking and you would have to look harder to find more elusive animals. What your thinking of is more along the lines of a breeding/conservation center. That case you wouldn't get as many complaints from people and you could also give private tours. But of course funding stands in most everyone way in opening a zoo or conservation center. The only way to start a center successfully is starting out with one or two species and growing every couple years or so.
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  #13
Old 27-09-2009

Hey kbaker116

Just curious, do you have an idea of what you want your zoo to look-like?
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  #14
Old 27-09-2009

on a channel called uktv over here there is a show called Help! I bought a zoo.

A women bought a run down zoo for one million pounds I think it is and is trying to renovate into her dream zoo.
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  #15
Old 27-09-2009

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Originally Posted by dragon(ele)nerd View Post
on a channel called uktv over here there is a show called Help! I bought a zoo.

A women bought a run down zoo for one million pounds I think it is and is trying to renovate into her dream zoo.
That's the sort of crazy thing I'd love to do - buy a run down zoo, revamp and turn it into a respectable conservation breeding facility and place to hold surplus and undesirable stock (like hybrids) for other, more mainstream zoos.
 


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