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Ring-tailed Lemur enclosure.

Ring-tailed Lemur enclosure.
Nanook, 31 Jan 2009
    • Nanook
      Note the metal childrens slide! Apparently the Lemurs like it. Yes it is enrichment but it is totally out of place and rather unnatural to me. What do you think!??
    • Zambar
      If the lemur's like it, fine with it. You can find 'em all over Monkey World, and it's what the animals like that comes before what the public think IMO.
    • James27
      Same with Howletts, and I think the Sulawesi macaques at Newquay have one too.
      Bet the public enjoy watching them use it too.
    • reduakari
      And I'm sure the public would like to watch the monkeys dress up and have a tea party too. I am appalled by the poor standard of design I'm seeing in so many of the photos from British zoos, and the attitude that if the animals "like" it it's fine to display them in such unnatural and amateurish settings.
    • CZJimmy
      Look at zoos like Chester, Bristol, Paignton, Edinburgh, HWP and the ZSL parks etc then for more "professional" zoos if you don't like the "amateur" approach.

      It would be unwise to cast judgement over UK zoos based on Beale Park and the Aspinall collections...
    • James27
      That's a very narrow minded opinion of you, it's not all about what the exhibit looks like.
      These lemurs have never seen Madagascar, so they're not going to think "Oh I'm not happy, this place doesn't look like scrubland".
      And what's un-natural about this enclosure? It's full of grass and has some planting. The only un-natural thing is the slide which is an enrichment device, just like a puzzel feeder which is also un-natural.
      Would you rather see unhappy animals in a more natural exhibit (e.g.- recreated scrubland)?
    • reduakari
      My hope would be that the visitors to the zoo would understand ring-tailed lemurs live in a unique desert environment in a remarkable place called Madagascar that desperately needs all of our help. They will never get this message if they are presented with animals in an ugly, haphazardly-built cage with children's playground equipment as the focal point.

      It is not enough to keep animals healthy and happy--that is a starting point of course, but zoos must do more than simply meet these basic objectives.
    • snowleopard
      It is interesting to read about the different perspectives on zoo exhibit design, and I basically agree with everything that reduakai has stated. Perhaps because he and I live in North America and therefore rarely ever see Howletts-style gorilla cages or metal slides in lemur exhibits, we are not used to the appearance of them in zoos. Many of the bars and concrete jungles that are utilized in some European zoos are shocking to me, and thus I expect spacious, naturalistic enclosures in major zoos. There are certainly many bear grottoes sprinkled througout North American collections, but there are definitely not many great apes kept in metal cages or lemurs slippin' and trippin' down children's slides. Each to their own opinion, but Europeans visiting the great North American zoos would see 90% of the animals in realistic settings with very few toys and childish distractions. There are those that state the fact that such toys are more engaging for the animals, but isn't it a zoo's job to inform the public about the style of habitat that a creature lives in, or how they behave in the wild? Do lemurs go sliding down metal toys in Madagascar?
    • CZJimmy
      Snowleopard, as i posted earlier in this thread, the UK zoos shouldn't be judged on Beale Park and the Aspinall Parks.

      Chester, Bristol, Paignton, HWP, Edinburgh and the ZSL zoos (for example) all do an excellent job of educating the public and in most cases provide excellent habitats.

      Aspinall started his zoo as a private collection so didn't need to cater for the public, however he had to open eventually and the new developments at Howlett's and PL are following the "zoo-model" (open gorilla exhibit, open monkey enclosures, glass window on the gorilla cage, lemur walk-through). I don't think you should consider the Beale Park as the average UK zoo either...

      I don't want to sound like i'm going tit-for-tat, but it would be like a UK zoo-goer basing their perception of US zoos on the numerous bear grottoes - even though that is not the case...
    • James27
      I'm sorry, but the animal's welfare comes over EVERYTHING else, it's not enough to have unhappy animals in an exhibit great for the public.
      And the zoos could educate people about Madagascar etc through signage and a good education. However, I bet the majority of zoo goers couldn't even tell you where a ring tailed lemur comes from ;)
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  • Category:
    Beale Park
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    31 Jan 2009
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