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Santa Cruz Zoo 2010 visit

Discussion in 'Bolivia' started by devilfish, 2 Dec 2011.

  1. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    I seem to have lost my draft for a review, so I'll write a very brief bit here before uploading some of my photos.

    I visited in July 2010, and there was a lot of construction work going on. As far as I can tell, it seems that a lot of work is ongoing and that the zoo's moving in the right direction.

    Bolivia's largest zoo, Santa Cruz has an amazing collection of native fauna, but the small cages are why the guidebooks don't recommend it very highly. So that's probably what I'll touch on first.

    I've attached a map to make this easier to visualise. As you enter the zoo, the nearest third consists mostly of small cages. There are offices, a veterinary clinic and a breeding centre for blue-throated macaws hidden amongst small aviaries (for birds from parakeets and amazons to kestrels and large hawks), large aviaries (for large birds of prey) and rows of cages. The rows of cages are used for everything from small macaws through to jaguars and condors. It seems that these horrible cages are partially used to temporarily hold animals whilst larger cages are being built, but it doesn't justify the large numbers of animals held inside. I think there were around 10 jaguars at the zoo, with only one held in a decent enclosure. There are further small cages spread throughout the middle section of the zoo, housing a variety of smaller animals, including barn owls, marmosets, kinkajou, coendous and grison. Fortunately the capuchins have been moved to more spacious enclosures (an improvement from Saro's photo).
    Within this first section there are some spacious enclosures, including a large one for howler monkeys, another for capuchins, and several decent-sized raptor aviaries.

    There are some very decent exhibits too; the reptile house has a brilliant collection, the new spectacled bear exhibit seems nice, and the 'aquaterrarium' is a brilliant habitat for large fish and reptiles. The main highlights for most visitors, however, are the two giant walkthrough aviaries. The newer one was still being stocked, but both showing off fantastic bird collections, with giant anteaters supposedly roaming through the older aviary too.

    The rest is a mix, I guess I'll let the photos show. The zoo had a number of escapees when I visited, but is also home to a large number of wild brown-throated sloths (which the zoo seems to help manage) and Bolivian squirrel monkeys too. My advice for any visitor is to walk around the zoo perimeter after your visit. :)
     

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  2. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

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    Any breeding achievements of note with brown throated sloths or blue throated macaws?
     
  3. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    All I know is that the blue-throated macaws were breeding (sorry I can't quantify that), and there was a large number of young brown-throated sloths, so I presume they're breeding too. I'm not sure how involved zoo staff get with the brown-throated sloths - some of them were wearing collars, so I think there may be some kind of management.
     
  4. dublinlion

    dublinlion Well-Known Member

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    thanks for that very interesting review and photos. the general standard of this zoo seems to be better than I would have expected and they have plenty of interesting species. the walk through aviary looks to be really nice and tall. it is posts such as this that makes this site so appealing and educational.
     
  5. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    Thanks! I had written much longer reviews for each of my South American zoo visits but unfortunately I can't find any of them. The main walk-through aviary is probably one of my favourites anywhere, and other photos I've seen show various different species I didn't come across in there at all. I guess it calls for a return visit. :)