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Leopard Exhibit

Dec 2008. Average but far too small enclosure for two leopards.

Leopard Exhibit
snowleopard, 18 Dec 2008
    • snowleopard
      Dec 2008. Average but far too small enclosure for two leopards.
    • okapikpr
      That's a pretty big enclosure. What leopard exhibit have you seen that is larger...Oklahoma City?
    • BlackRhino
      Its not too small, but I am not a fan of cages. It's larger than Cleveland's. I don't know of any spectacular Amur or African leopard enclosures besides Hogle Zoo and Oklahoma City.
    • snowleopard
      Leopards continually get shafted in zoos, and even though I criticized it at the time I've come to believe that the trio of leopard cages at the Minnesota Zoo are the best that the continent of North America has to offer for this particular species of cat.
    • Arizona Docent
      If you want to see leopards (& lions & tigers) in large (almost one acre?) exhibits with no roofs or mesh, try these two places in northern Arizona: Out Of Africa (Camp Verde, AZ) and Keepers Of The Wild (Valentine, AZ). Haven't been to the second one, but their website has some nice photos and they have yellow and black leopards together. Maryland Zoo (in Baltimore) also has pretty good leopard exhibit and some of the only pure african leopards in U.S. (most zoos work with amur).
    • snowleopard
      Doesn't Out of Africa have bears, pumas and lions (and other bizarre combinations) all tossed into the same exhibits? Dean Harrison then goes in and hugs them all and kisses them goodnight...and I'm not even exaggerating!
    • Ituri
      Yeah, I'm not really comfortable with that place. Ever since Dean took a supposedly de-venomed (who does that?) king cobra and waved it in my face. I've had a few conversations with the man, and they all left me a little uneasy.
    • Arizona Docent
      "Who does that?" - not Dean Harrison. The cobra already had its venom sacs removed by the previous owner. Did he really "wave it in your face?" I find that very hard to believe. They also don't kiss the cats goodnight, but they do interact directly with the cats. This is and will always be a controversial topic in animal circles. While I don't believe the public should get to play with lions, etc (and they don't at Out Of Africa), I do believe professional trainers can work with large predators in a relatively safe manner. Also, many of the cat interactions were at their old Fountain Hills location; I don't think they do as much of that in their new Camp Verde location, although they still have their trademark "Tiger Splash" show.
    • snowleopard
      I read Dean Harrison's book "Return to Eden" last year, and it has some of the craziest stories you could ever imagine. He has been attacked by his cats on numerous occasions, and believes that God saved him at least twice. The tales of hugging the cats goodnight and bonding with the predators makes for intriguing reading, but not necessarily highly regarded animal husbandry.
    • Ituri
      "Waved in my face" was a bit of an exageration, but it was certainly within striking distance for a snake of that size. It made me very uncomfortable. And the way he was talking about the removal of the venom glands from the snake, he lead me to believe that it was something he had done so he could use it in programs. If I'm mistaken on that I appologize, but that is the impression I was left with. To be honest I have not been to the Camp Verde location, but I never saw too much in Fountain Hills that impressed me. And after talking to him in person, I didn't get a very strong sense that his grip on reality was very firm. I don't doubt that he cares greatly for his animals. But I do disagree with the wild mixes of predators they attempted at the Fountain Hills Park. I was really saddened by that poor leopard who lost a limb to a lion in the neighboring pen. (to be honest, I don't know that that happened in that park, but given the cage configurations it certainly could have) Also, the public may not interact with the adult cats, but I once pet a juvenile lion at Superstition Springs Mall that he had brought out for everyone to cuddle.
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    Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
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    18 Dec 2008
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