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Gorilla island

With a breeding group of gorillas, including a baby that was born this year.

Gorilla island
Rafiaan, 17 Aug 2016
    • Rafiaan
      With a breeding group of gorillas, including a baby that was born this year.
    • snowleopard
      What do other ZooChatters think of these Smurf-style little mushroom huts? I've seen photos of these various ape exhibits before and yet I'm still perplexed as to the decision-making of the designers. What is the point of showcasing such odd formations in the chimp and gorilla exhibits?
    • sooty mangabey
      Although it is a number of years since I visited this zoo, I have to say that I think this ape accommodation is pretty poor: aesthetically ugly, and with limited space and opportunities for the resident animals.
    • Rafiaan
      It's something I've never seen before, but the gorillas use it.
    • gentle lemur
      It looks rather like a Hollywood B-movie set to me - perhaps for a cheap 1950s remake of 'King Kong'. The architectural style, to use a generous term, reminds me of the Sahel (a long way north of gorilla habitat), which is ironic when used for a water feature :rolleyes:
      It is fortunate that gorillas have no sense of irony, and I do understand that they appreciate the privacy of the little huts, however out of place they seem to us. But what do the pair of pointed pillars represent? Granaries? Stylised termite mounds? Stalactites? I don't think irony can excuse them - they are just bonkers :eek:

    • sooty mangabey
      You're right. I think the main building is based on the ancient mosque in Djenne, in Mali. This is as zoogeographically relevant to a group of gorillas as presenting a group of walruses in an ersatz version of Cologne cathedral.
    • gentle lemur
      Gosh! I'm not used to someone agreeing with me :)
      I was actually thinking of the mosque at Larabanga, just outside the Mole National Park in Ghana - but this style of building is traditional throughout the Sahel.
      It's probably worth adding that Heini Hediger pointed out in 1965 that it is inappropriate to build structures in a zoo which resemble mosques or temples, or of course synagogues, churches or any other religious buildings. 50 years on, I think we ought to add crass insensitivity to the architect's charge sheet.

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    Zoo de La Palmyre
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    17 Aug 2016
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