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Open-topped Lion-tailed Macaque exhibit at Howletts 26/11/09

Probably the best of the open-topped monkey exhibits at Howletts.

Open-topped Lion-tailed Macaque exhibit at Howletts 26/11/09
Maguari, 30 Nov 2009
    • Maguari
      Probably the best of the open-topped monkey exhibits at Howletts.
    • redpanda
      I think I'd agree with that as, although the colobus/gelada one is bigger, this is better landscaped and the inhabitants are easier to view. Having said that, I reckon Port Lympne's is the best of the four as it is set in actual woodland.
    • Maguari
      Agreed. I nearly typed 'best Aspinall open-topped monkey exhibit' but changed it because the colobus/De Brazza one at Port Lympne is definitely my favourite.

      (and I make five - don't forget the baboons! :p )
    • redpanda
      I didn't include that as it was not completed on my visit, I look forward to your photos.
    • Maguari
      Ah - fair enough :D Not visited Lympne in ages so not sure what was new and what wasn't!
    • Pertinax
      Visually, there's little to choose between these enclosures I think. They are all excellent. I particularly like this one and the adjacent Langur enclosure. The hawthorn(?) tree directly behind the climbing frame in this picture is used by the Macaques to jump into and climb about in- they have so much space they have not noticeably damaged it(yet!) either. In many zoos a tree like this would be hotwired to prevent usage.

      The huge Colobus/Gelada baboon one is less natural but equally good.
    • Kiwi87
      Personally I don't think this a great exhibit for this species of macaque. I've been researching a lot about them for a uni assignment and they come from dense rainforests and prefer living up in the canopy. They apparantly avoid open areas within the rainforest, and when they go down to the ground to forage they will stuff food into their cheek pouches quickly before retreating back into the canopy to eat it.

      To look at from our perspective it is quite visually pleasing, but I really think the needs of the lion-tailed macaques have not been met.
    • Pertinax
      The information you provide is correct. I have seen them in the wild and that is exactly how they live.

      However trying to replicate this in captivity is virtually impossible- they would never be seen by visitors for a start. I think we have to accept that exhibits like this are the next best thing and that the monkeys tailor their behaviour accordingly..
    • redpanda
      Having said this, what you are talking about are wild macaques, often there are differences in behaviour between animals in zoos and their wild counterparts. For example, whilst being generally solitary in the wild, many zoos keep bears in groups with few apparent problems. This is likely because, in the wild, the costs (sharing food) far out-weigh the benefits (group hunting) whereas in captivity there is enough food to go around so this imbalance is not so pronounced. In the same way, macaques in captivity have no predators from whom they don't have to spend all their time in the canopy. I will also point out that this exhibit does have a wealth of climbing opportunities for the macaques (including in the house) and allows them to get off the ground if they wish.

      @snowleopard: I can see a support beam in the second photo, Woodland Park must be a rubbish zoo!
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    Howletts Wild Animal Park
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    30 Nov 2009
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