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New orangutan exhibit.

Opens in one month. This half, the arboreal side, looks finished. The other half, the land side (outside of this picture), looks nowhere near done. I hope that half is better, because these fake climbing structures do nothing for me (although it is a vast improvement over what was before). If this is Phoenix's idea of building a World Class Zoo (as the campaign for these new exhibits state), they have no idea what a world class zoo really looks like.

New orangutan exhibit.
Arizona Docent, 14 Mar 2011
    • Arizona Docent
      Opens in one month. This half, the arboreal side, looks finished. The other half, the land side (outside of this picture), looks nowhere near done. I hope that half is better, because these fake climbing structures do nothing for me (although it is a vast improvement over what was before). If this is Phoenix\'s idea of building a World Class Zoo (as the campaign for these new exhibits state), they have no idea what a world class zoo really looks like.
    • snowleopard
      The old orangutan exhibit was easily one of the worst great ape enclosures in any AZA-accredited zoo, but the new habitat appears as a disappointment in this photo. Short, clipped lawn and then a series of logs haphazardly nailed together certainly does not break new ground in the world of zoo design.
    • Ituri
      I thought this might be interesting to try. Just for fun, let's look at orang exhibits from zoos that I consider "World Class".

      San Diego
      [​IMG]

      Omaha
      [​IMG]

      Berlin
      [​IMG]

      Chester
      [​IMG]

      Melbourne
      [​IMG]

      I'm not passing value judgements on any of these exhibits, and not even necessarily Phoenix's. I just thought it might be kind of fun to compare and contrast.
    • boopashaboopa
      Singapore Zoo has I think the most incredible Orangutan Exhibit
    • Baldur
      Almost any exhibit that gives these aborial apes a chance to climb high and behave naturally satisfies me. I have seen all of these except Phoenix and Chester and I'll hopefully be seeing the latter later this year.

      That of course means that I should not be defending the Berlin one, but it is the oldest one of these at any rate. How many zoos were taking this into consideration back in the days when that exhibit was built (I think the 1970s but I'm not sure)
    • mstickmanp
      It's actually not that bad, and at least the apes will finally have some soft substrate if they do decide to be on the floor compared to their old exhibit. By looking at the photo my only concern is the lack of shade considering it is Phoenix, Arizona.
    • Hungrytroll
      While I think that it could have been developed better aesthetically, in the form of more realistic climbing structures. However, I think the real indicator in the quality of the exhibit is how the animals react to the environment. In that respect, I think they've done quite well. The first time Kasih was in the yard, she was very curious about the grass, and as far as I've heard, they all love their new space. It may not be as natural (and awesome) as the Svelt exhibit or the Bighorn Sheep bluffs, but it is still, in my opinion, a great exhibit.
    • snowleopard
      Great idea Ituri! I've mentioned before on this site that I personally think that orangutans are perhaps the most difficult mammal to display in zoos, due to their ability to escape and tenacity to destroy a lot of vegetation in a short amount of time. There are even major American zoos that keep these apes indoors all year round in subpar enclosures (Cleveland, Fort Wayne, Brookfield) The exhibits presented on this thread all have their good and bad points, and I think that the best orangutan habitat in any North American zoo is found at Woodland Park in Seattle. The exhibit is far from perfect (not as impressive as Singapore's), but the AZA award-winner is much better than many of its American counterparts.

      These two photos show less than half the exhibit:

      http://www.zoochat.com/622/orangutan-exhibit-boardwalk-viewing-area-141551/

      http://www.zoochat.com/622/woodland-park-zoo-orangutan-exhibit-44280/
    • Ituri
      Woodland Park's orangutan exhibit is certainly impressive.

      Here are a few more orang exhibits to look at-

      Columbus
      [​IMG]

      National Zoo
      [​IMG]

      Toronto Zoo
      [​IMG]
    • reduakari
      Wow--those are three hideous exhibits! But Columbus, being the newest, gets the award as the worst. They had no excuse--they had the money and the benefit of seeing many far superior orang exhibits to model theirs after.
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