Join our zoo community

Weird Pronghorn/Camel Mix, next to the elephants and the horses?????

Most annoying part about SDZ is the geographical mixing...

Weird Pronghorn/Camel Mix, next to the elephants and the horses?????
DelacoursLangur, 18 Jan 2020
TheGerenuk and CarLover like this.
    • Chlidonias
      I'm guessing you have no idea what Elephant Odyssey is about?
    • DelacoursLangur
      @Chlidonias Been told by a couple people now. It seems a silly idea for a zoo to me but oh well. I guess I just didnt catch on when I was there.
    • Chlidonias
      Why is it silly? I think it's a great idea. The execution is awful, but the concept is not.
    • DelacoursLangur
      @Chlidonias Zoos have trouble getting across the current reality of endangered species. Adding the complexity of trying to convey to the general public that these species are not actually from the same environment, but rather are symbolic stand ins for long extinct species of a lost ecosystem, but are also individually are also threatened in their real environments. Its adding additional complication and distracting from what zoos should be focusing on, the global extinction crisis. They are not the species which really occupied the environment, not even close so its also rather misleading.

      Just my take on it
      Wyman likes this.
    • Chlidonias
      So, with regards to your above post, how does arranging animals "geographically" change anything? Is an "African savannah" with, say, White Rhino, Springbok, and Scimitar-horned Oryx - with zero explanation that these animals are from utterly different environments - somehow better and more educational than a display representing the actual extinctions which have occurred in a specific area? Elephant Odyssey is trying to show how the current Californian fauna is not even close to what it should be, that the majority of the large-bodied species have been lost since human arrival. It literally is doing what you are complaining it isn't doing. The problem with it isn't the concept, it is (from what I gather) the way it is presented to the visitor in a very non-obvious way.
    • DelacoursLangur
      @Chlidonias I disagree with the statement that "California fauna is not close to what it should be". The ecosystem has changed significantly over the past 10,000+ years. How far back conservationists should strive to protect/recreate an ecosystem is subjective, however I would argue that pre-industrialization is a good rough benchmark. For example Ostrich's and Onager were extirpated from the Levant in the early 20th century as mechanized transportation and firearms became widespread. These make good candidates for reintroduction (an ongoing project in Israel) because its recent history. However Syrian Elephants would not make a good candidate for reintroduction as they were wiped out by 100BCE.

      As for your point on African wildlife often being from different ecosystems, I actually agree in that the ideal zoo would have clearly divided sections for each ecosystem. However mixing Savannah wildlife and desert Oryx is not nearly as distant as Asian elephants and Pronghorn, its a matter of degrees of separation.

      My 2 cents on the subject.
    • Chlidonias
      "The ecosystem has changed significantly over the past 10,000+ years": yes, of course it has - because almost all the large-bodied mammals were removed from the ecosystem. It is depauperate. It is literally impossible to conclude that the Californian ecosystem is complete.This is what Elephant Odyssey is trying to convey. As far as I'm aware they are not pushing for Pleistocene rewilding, they are simply showing the sorts of animals which were in the Californian ecology before the arrival of humans, using the available modern equivalents (because there is no other way to do it if using living animals).

      "However mixing Savannah wildlife and desert Oryx is not nearly as distant as Asian elephants and Pronghorn, its a matter of degrees of separation": the difference between the two examples is that in the former the zoo is either deliberately or through lack of care or knowledge making a statement that because those exact species come from the same continent they all live together - they are creating a fake ecological assemblage under the guise of it being "geographical" and presenting it as a fact. A hypothetical example also might be a zoo creating a "North American prairie" housing Pronghorns and Caribou, or as a real-life example from many zoos an "Australian Outback" exhibit with Emus and Bennett's Wallabies. Elephant Odyssey is explicitly not saying, to use your two animal examples, that Asian Elephants and Pronghorns occur together in the wild - it is using stand-in species to illustrate a theme which is all about extinction. Elephant Odyssey doesn't fail because of its concept, it fails because of its execution which means that A) it looks awful (from photos); and B) visitors don't appear to understand it.
      Wyman likes this.
    • DelacoursLangur
      @Chlidonias Fair enough, I certainly didnt get it when I was visiting and I knew more to begin with than the average visitor. I get the idea of trying to use innovative displays to convey the impact of extinction, It seems we agree that this failed in that respect. I can get more behind the idea that the purpose is to illustrate the impact of extinction, than to just recreate a Pleistocene environment like a museum display. However it really just comes off as a jumbled mess of mixed elephant species, lions next to jaguar next to horses.
    • Chlidonias
      Yes - I have never seen it in person of course, but the general reaction I read is that it doesn't "work" the way it is intended. I think the concept itself could work extremely well, but that doesn't seem to have happened in this case.
    There are no comments to display.
  • Category:
    San Diego Zoo
    Uploaded By:
    18 Jan 2020
    View Count:
    Comment Count:

    EXIF Data

    File Size:
    6.3 MB
    Mime Type:
    NIKON D3200
    Date / Time:
    2019:04:14 00:07:16
    Exposure Time:
    10/5000 sec
    ISO Speed Rating:
    ISO 400
    Focal Length:
    18 mm

    Note: EXIF data is stored on valid file types when a photo is uploaded. The photo may have been manipulated since upload (rotated, flipped, cropped etc).