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Lack of Branchiation in Gibbon Exhibit

So other members get what we mean. 16th May 2010.

Lack of Branchiation in Gibbon Exhibit
Zambar, 16 May 2010
    • Zambar
      So other members get what we mean. 16th May 2010.
    • johnstoni
      is the big tree at the back inside or outside the enclosure?
    • CGSwans
      Outside - you can see that the top of the tree is outside the netting.

      That would be a great enclosure for many species of primate. Vervets, colobus, macaques - any species that spends a lot of time on the ground but also takes to the trees regularly. But not gibbons.
    • Zooplantman
      I would expect gibbons to not be so easily dissuaded: don't they brachiate along the roof?

      Still, a generally nice looking exhibit that ignores the nature of the animal that lives within. Was it designed/intended for gibbons? The pool inside the mesh makes me think it was not.
    • Pertinax
      This enclosure was built specifically for their Siamangs. They were previously kept in a hideous small steel mesh and frame enclosure which was probably the ugliest/most unsuitable I've ever seen anywhere for any gibbons.

      I don't know if they ever brachiate from the roof, but the sloping shape and 'give' in it wouldn't allow them to do so properly. They need a series or framework of solid parallel bars/branches all set at 'siamang arms length' from the each other, to allow them to brachiate properly around the enclosure and utilise all that empty space. To fit in with the 'natural/oriental' style of the enclosure I would suggest perhaps using thick Bamboo poles, set both vertically and horizontally (particularly the latter) but any form of timber would do.

      Leaving this enclosure so empty of equipment indicates to me a total lack of understanding of this(or any Gibbon) species requirements in a captive setting.
    • Zambar
      They have been using the roof and sides alot now, there's pictures of them doing so from my visit last week in the gallery. Pertinax is right though, that it seems to be done very awkwardly. I too am completely blown over as to how my local zoo is so oblivious to it all, and I hope they fix it very soon. Money can't really be an excuse when it would cost pocket money compared to the £6 million entrance they'll be building!
    • Pertinax
    • Goretex
      It's a shame I feel that the tree can't be inside the enclosure itself, it would be very good if it was. When was this enclosure built?
    • Zambar
      Throughout 2007, it was completed in August.
    • GillP
      Ggggrrr ...... I want to tear my hair out when zoos go to a great deal of trouble and expense building brand new enclosures yet fail to address an animal's natural behaviour in its design. Maybe with some species, this isn't always possible due to space and budget constraints but providing parallel bars as suggested would surely be relatively affordable ?

      These exhibits must take months if not years in the planning stages, and I simply don't understand why - at that time - the question of providing an environment which allows as much natural behaviour as possible isn't addressed ...... or worse, raised and then dismissed. Maybe I'm an ignorant amateur, but were I designing an exhibit, that would be my main aim.
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    16 May 2010
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