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Himalaya entrance complex at Twycross 03/05/10

Snow Leopard exhibit. Still unoccupied, with staff watering in the plants today. A pretty nice exhibit actually but I still think a more active species would have been a better choice.

Himalaya entrance complex at Twycross 03/05/10
Maguari, 3 May 2010
    • Maguari
      Snow Leopard exhibit.

      Still unoccupied, with staff watering in the plants today. A pretty nice exhibit actually but I still think a more active species would have been a better choice.
    • Pertinax
      Exactly what I thought when I saw it last week. But I was impressed by it. Must have cost a lot though...:(
    • reduakari
      Why so much water, in this location? I doubt the cats will use it and it keeps them away from possible up close viewing at the glass.
    • Maguari
      A good point. A suspect it's one of two things - either they just thought it looked good, or they don't want the cats up close to the glass too much (the old lion exhibit (now home to hyaenas) was terrible for muddy pawprints!).
    • Pertinax
      My guess is its a combination of the two. Also to prevent them pacing along the perimeter of the exhibit(the glass window) though I think they are more likely to be curled up asleep a lot of the time.
    • European Fauna
      This looks a right mess.I am convinced that there are certain topographical features & types of terrain that just do not miniaturize well into a zoo exhibit.I will not even get started on the dirty muddy water.I realize that this is what is available, at best, to a great number of creatures.However, I am far too traditional in my views on sound husbandry to ever recommend its incorporation into zoo enclosures.However artificial & out-of-place it may seem, I would insist on a clean pool of crystal-clear water which could be easily cleaned out as required.As a compromise, I enjoy enclosures that incorporate a nod towards salient features from geographic areas.I tend to draw the line at enclosures which try to be an actual replica of the original- however excellent the intentions, they just do not tend to work out.With regard to supposed rock-dwelling species, be they goats or snow leopards, I feel they enjoy the variety of having grassy areas etc rather than little more than rock.Many animals adapted to extreme conditions seem to do even better when not obliged to dwell in them 24 x 7 x 365.With regards to the disaster in this photo, it seems to have been designed by a committee & my money says it will not still be around in 10 years´time.
    • johnstoni
      This would have been fantastic without the water. A sunken area of softer substrate with some planting would have worked. The sloping wall at the front appears to prevent pacing regardless of the water. Snow leopards are one of the larger cat species I rarely see pacing in zoos, however they have the whole length of the back of the enclosure to do that if they really feel the need to, which will look even worse than pacing at the front.
    • tomzoo123
      About the water, thats just rainwater at the moment as the exhibit is actually incomplete and nopt finished. The water will be crystla clear as it will be part of a regulated water system which will always be moving. As for it not being there in 10 yeasr thats a bit hap hazard, as this has been a major 9million pound development, something which i cant see going that quickly. Even if snow leopards move out of it the exhibit will be used for other speices, they wont just get rid of it.
    • Pertinax
      This exhibit does actually look very realistic indeed- a portion of Himalayan scree slope with very natural looking rock having been used throughout.

      Thre are a few Pine trees at one end(though I don't think Snow Leopard are normally found in the treeline?) to break up the barren feel, while the water will stay clear as the Snow Leopards won't enter/use it. The area taken by the water is actually relatively small compared to the whole area of the exibit- it looks more significant here because it is in the foreground of the photo.

      As an exhibit I would rate it highly. I am still not quite sure about its choice in this particular context at Twycross though.
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    Twycross Zoo
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    3 May 2010
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