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Gorilla Preserve

For details, see my review

Gorilla Preserve
geomorph, 2 Jul 2010
    • Baldur
      Looks quite nice as far as I can see. Not the Congo but I have seen many modest exhibits that cost only a quarter of what it cost, yet were not inferior.
    • snowleopard
      I agree! This exhibit opened in 1980 and it is nearly a full acre in size, and so over 30 years later it is arguably one of the best habitats at an otherwise very poor zoo.
    • mcatee123
      It is very spacious but I think there isn't enough soft landscaping to draw the eye away from the huge concrete wall at the back of the picture.
      Other than the trees and the rocks what sort of enrichment is provided for the gorillas ?
    • Pertinax
      I can't remember seeing another Gorilla enclosure with just(?) Conifer trees growing in it. Not very natural for them but an advantage is the Gorillas probably leave the foliage and the bark alone, so they stay alive and give cover.

      Generally its quite a nice area for them but still rather bare- is that a huge clump/hedge of Bamboo I can see outside the wall in the distance? Imagine a few clumps like that inside the enclosure. It can be done quite easily- hotwire for a few years while they establish and until they become too thick for the Gorillas to damage them.

      I like the flat topped rocks designed for them to sit on. The concrete surrounding wall seems almost inevitable for Gorillas/Apes unless its a water- moated enclosure. I'd rather the extra space they can have with a wall, which usually allows closer viewing too.
    • mcatee123
      I would prefer if the concrete wall at the back was at least partially screened by a mixture of medium high vegetation to give the gorillas somewhere to get out of the sight of the public if they feel like it.

      I dont like the fact that the concrete wall is 'crowned' by the lush green its a bit of a contrast.

      I agree its very bare, some soft land scaping would look good and not reduce the useable space.
    • Pertinax
      soft landscaping would remove nearly all the problems- breaking up the outline of the wall, giving the Gorillas more cover/topography/enrichment, and making it easier on the eye- without any major/expensive structural changes.
    • mcatee123
      I suppose the main problem is the gorillas destroying it, I don't know why zoos dont factor in an animals destructivness into the cost of care.

      I don't think I have seen gorillas kept in enclosures with fruit bearing plants that they are allowed to browse from.

      That being said it is very nice to see living trees in a gorilla enclousure rather than the usual 'dead mans hands' look.
    • reduakari
      The biggest problem with this exhibit is that the concrete you see is not the "back wall." The enclosure is essentially a pit, with public viewing from almost every side, so the inevitable background view is of the wall and people. When it opened in 1977, its designer was highly insulted by the unflattering comparisons made with another west coast gorilla exhibit that opened at the same time--Woodland Park's. Time has certainly told the story of which project was the superior approach....
    • mcatee123
      So people can veiw the animals over the wall ?
      would it be possible to plant the pathway against the wall so to restrict the veiw of people walking on it and to prevent them being seen ?
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    San Francisco Zoo
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    2 Jul 2010
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