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Wild wolverine

New Otter Exhibit and Parking Lot Sign

A new West Entrance Parking Lot is supposed to open this summer, followed by a new otter exhibit and entrance plaza similar to the main entrance opening in 2016.

New Otter Exhibit and Parking Lot Sign
Wild wolverine, 24 Jun 2015
    • Wild wolverine
      A new West Entrance Parking Lot is supposed to open this summer, followed by a new otter exhibit and entrance plaza similar to the main entrance opening in 2016.
    • DavidBrown
      Is this the first new exhibit built at Milwaukee Zoo since the 1990s?
    • snowleopard
      Milwaukee is a fascinating zoo because much of it was built in the 1960's and 1970's and the facility has remained relatively stagnant for decades. Since 1992 (when Apes of Africa opened) the zoo has now gone 23 years with lots of renovation jobs but nothing truly excellent making its debut. The Aquatic & Reptile Center, Japanese Macaque Island, Big Cat Country, Family Farm, Bonobo Exhibit, American Black Bear Exhibit and Gorilla Exhibit are examples of 7 areas of the zoo that have been advertised as "new" during the past quarter century. The fact of the matter is that all 7 of those sections were older enclosures that were renovated and modernized...even though the modernization process has been disappointing in many of the cases.

      There has been a new Animal Health Center, an Education Center, a huge new entrance, parking lots, etc., but what about a shiny new animal exhibit complex to go along with all of the make-overs? Maybe the Flamingo Habitat and the upcoming North American River Otter exhibit? Milwaukee is similar to San Antonio Zoo in that both establishments receive over 1 million annual visitors simply because those zoos are in major cities with large populations and there isn't a lot of other zoological options nearby. If there is a big zoo in a major city, packed full with an extensive animal collection, then folks will show up in droves regardless of the quality of the exhibits. Milwaukee County and San Antonio are perfect examples of that idea, with Rio Grande Zoo in New Mexico being another example of a zoo that receives 1.2 million annual visitors but genuinely lacks a lot of class compared to similarly-sized establishments.

      Zoo History Timeline:

      Zoo History Timeline | Milwaukee County Zoo
    • Wild wolverine
      Sadly yes, in a pathetic kind of way, the Milwaukee County Zoo hasn't had a new exhibit built since 1992. With ONE exception; the outdoor koala exhibit was built in 1997, however, it has stood empty since the koalas left in 2004....

      In the zoo's Master Plan (I read it somewhere but I don't remember where, otherwise I would post a link to the Master Plan) it did talk about the new elephant exhibit, a new/renovated hippo exhibit with underwater viewing, something called Adventure Africa which they said was going to open in 2018 with a possible phase II opening in 2019 (however, NONE of these new things have been advertised even a little bit with the general public) and then the Alaska Cold Coast which talked about only a seal exhibit scheduled to open in 2023. The Milwaukee County Zoo as a whole is defiantly a 'More talk than do' kind of zoo with a serious public awareness of new plans/funding issue. I personally believe if the zoo announced these big planned projects in its newsletters and magazines that it sends out every few months, they could really get the ball rolling, get some attention and funds and actually DO something! Rant over.
      MKE Zoo guy likes this.
    • Milwaukee Man
      I agree with all that you said, wild wolverine - well said. I do agree that Milwaukee should definitely be more involved with the public in showing what they're trying to do, even if plans are not final yet. At least show that they're trying... Something is better than nothing!

      While on a similar topic, something I never really understood also is why the Zoo doesn't advertise or really strive to spread the word when it comes to some cool things that occur there, or give updates in the news (with the exception of some major moments like birth of jaguar cubs). For example, last year was big for some of the new arrivals like the return of cheetahs and caracal, and new-to-the-collection red river hogs. Those should have been some significant news, but was ever only announced on the Zoo's website.
    • Wild wolverine
      That's very true, they only ever announce "big things" like births of popular animals. In my own personal bias opinion, the red river hogs should have been a big deal as they are the first ever red river hogs to live at the zoo (but like I said, my that's my bias opinion because the red river hogs are my favorite things in the whole zoo.) But even the return of the caracal, as it was the first time in over 10 years that one had been at the zoo, and even King Julian, the FIRST EVER harbor seal born at the zoo should have been put out there as a big deal like new cubs. The seal was a bit more popular however, especially now that they have 2 babies.
      Gong back though, I believe public involvement and public knowledge of the plans is going to be very important for the zoo's future. Like you said, something is better than nothing.
    • Wild wolverine
      HOLD IT!!! The zoo's most recent exhibit addition is the Wong Family Pheasantry, which opened in 1998. It features the zoo's whooping crane and king vultures. The zoo is still long overdue for a new exhibit, and I'm very excited to see the otter exhibit in 2016.
    • zooboy28
      And it presumably holds some Pheasants too?
    • Milwaukee Man
      Despite the name, there's no pheasants on display at the Wong Family Pheasantry. I'll admit, I rarely go by the Aviary area, so I don't recall the last time I saw pheasants there. I know I first saw whooping cranes there in 2007, but I had no idea the king vultures were also there until last summer.
    • zooboy28
      Oh dear... :confused::p
      Were there pheasants in there when it opened though?
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