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Endangered Species Of The Southwest Sign

Aug. 21st, 2010.

Endangered Species Of The Southwest Sign
snowleopard, 9 Feb 2011
    • snowleopard
      Aug. 21st, 2010.
    • Arizona Docent
      Any idea what exhibit that used to be? Any idea when this new one will open?
    • snowleopard
      I only know as much as what this sign says, and there were 8 construction projects all over the zoo on my August visit. I listed them all in my review.
    • Arizona Docent
      (updated comments based on my visit July 3 and 5, 2011)

      Is this the area right next to the mexican wolves? If so, this sign has been removed and the current sign just says "future exhibit area." I first visited this zoo over a decade ago and it was like that then. This is a relatively small area and it blocks a major connecting path between wolves and polar bears, forcing people to backtrack and walk around. The fact that it has sat undeveloped for so long is totally inexcusable. They obviously had to change the sign because nothing is happening and it is an embarrasment to say "your tax dollars at work" for no work.

      My impression is that this zoo is really stagnating and desperately needs some new direction - perhaps new leadership? (I say perhaps because I really don't know anything about the current leadership). What I do know is they have two separate websites - one run by the city and one run by the zoological society. This may indicate a lack of cohesion in the administrative structure (I am speculating here). My zoo has a similar arrangement (city owned with a zoological society), but we only have one website run by the society and have very clearly defined roles for who does what.

      All I know is if I were in charge of a zoo, I would not let a small plot of land right in the middle of a path sit vacant for over a decade. They are currently raising money for a new penguin exhibit and I think this is probably where it will go (although there were no signs at the area indicating this). Most of this zoo features outdated exhibits and it is one of the least impressive major city zoos I have ever seen.
    • snowleopard
      @AD: This is the sign that was near the wolves. There is not a single great exhibit at this zoo, many outdated ones, and yet not too many truly awful enclosures. In my opinion the Cat Walk area of the zoo (featuring not simply felines) is the worst of the lot.

      Here is a list of construction projects that I typed up from my August 2010 visit:

      There are a lot of minor construction projects going on at the zoo:
      -The old Arctic fox enclosure next to the polar bear exhibit is empty and being renovated
      -The walk-through lorikeet aviary in the Australian section is also empty and being renovated
      -There is a construction zone for the new saltwater crocodile pools in the Aussie zone, but I did see the crocs in their spacious indoor holding areas next to the Reptile House.
      -There is a messy area that appears to be under construction next to the sea lion pool, as the zoo no longer has camel rides in that yard
      -A brand new entrance is being constructed alongside the current entrance, but it will be used only for school groups and large gatherings of people
      -There is still ongoing work on the Asian elephant yards, and maybe that is why there is a sign up stating that the elephants have access to 5.5 acres
      -There are future Asian exhibits planned across from the elephants, but there is no confirmation of what animals will be placed there.
      -Between the polar bears and Mexican gray wolves is a large area with a sign up stating that a new zone is being built for “Endangered Southwestern Species”
    • Arizona Docent
      None of these areas seem to have any actual work being done (as of July 2011). They are just empty piles and this zoo seems to be seriously stalled. The elephants do have access to the expanded area, but there is no good public viewing area (you can only see them from a distance from the train station. I asked a docent about the future Asia timeline and he seemed to indicate some doubt that it would happen in his lifetime.
    • snowleopard
      I'm extremely curious as to why the zoo has begun so many construction projects and seemingly not finished any of them in the past 11 months. Finances must be tight in Albuquerque!
    • Gonzapalot
      Last I heard, a multi-million dollar penguin habitat was being planned for this area. And @Arizona Docent, I believe polar bears used to live in the enclosure.
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