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Zooamerica 3/21/21 Review and Species List With Pictures

Discussion in 'United States' started by red river hog, 21 Mar 2021.

  1. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    ZooAmerica is a small zoo located in Hershey, Pennsylvania that exhibits entirely North American species. It's associated with Hersheypark, which is an amusement park that's adjacent to it and admission is free with your Hersehypark tickets. There some mixed opinions about the zoo, so I thought I'd share mine. :)


    The entrance to the zoo is a small building with admission, bathrooms, etc. Once you exit, immediately to the right is the Southern Swamps pavilion. It's a renovation of the zoo's historic reptile house and as the name suggests, it displays animals native to the southeastern United States, especially those found in wetlands. It displays birds, reptiles, fish, and crabs. Most, if not all the exhibits are adequate and I thought they were decently naturalistic. The only thing I didn't like was in one of the alligator exhibits, there was blue and green paint in the back, which looked strange.
    upload_2021-3-21_19-31-37.png
    Coastal Estuary exhibit.

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    Reptile terrarium. Interesting burrow concept, though on the smaller side.

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    Land area in left alligator exhibit. The most lush and natural I've seen for the species.

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    Wood cabin in left alligator exhibit. Nice creative touch.

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    Water area in left alligator exhibit.

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    Right alligator exhibit. The land area is out of view to the right of the photo and looks similar to that of the other exhibit.

    SPECIES LIST:
    Cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus)
    Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja)
    Coastal Estuary: Sand Fiddler Crab (Leptuca pugilator)
    Gopher Tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus)
    Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus)
    Bluespotted Sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus)
    Corn Snake (Pantherophis guttata)
    Barred Owl (Strix varia)
    Barbour’s Pygmy Rattlesnake (Sistrurus milarus barbouri)
    Florida Gar (Lepisosteus platyrhincus), Fathead Minnow (Pimephales promelas)
    American Alligator (Alligator mississippiensis)
    American Alligator

    I'll post the next area shortly. :)
     
    Last edited: 21 Mar 2021
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  2. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    Another building, Great Southwest is a renovation of the historic bird house. There's a long nocturnal wing of the building, titled The Desert in Darkness and it contains some of the rarest species at the zoo. Again, I think all of the exhibits are adequate and natural (more so than the previous building). The main desert atrium, containing tortoises and some desert birds, is one of the best in the building. It's very large and features a live Saguaro Cactus. Many of the exhibits in The Desert in Darkness wing are also nice and large, like the Sidewinder and Ocelot exhibits.

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    General view approaching the building. The aviary on the left contains parrots and is the only outdoor exhibit in Great Southwest.

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    Desert atrium. Houses tortoises and 3 species of birds among live cactuses. The windows in the back look into the exhibit from outside near the parrot aviary.

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    Example of terrariums in room near the atrium. There are three and all have viewing windows from both the inside and outside.

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    Entrance to The Desert in Darkness.

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    Small reptile terrarium.

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    Waterfall in Ocelot exhibit.

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    Ocelot exhibit. View from other side of waterfall.

    SPECIES LIST:
    Thick-billed Parrot (Rhynchopsitta pachyrhyncha)

    Blue Spiny Lizard (Sceloporus serrifer cyanogenys), Gila Monster (Heloderma suspectum)

    Greater Roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus), Gambel’s Quail (Callipepla gambelii), Burrowing Owl (Athene cunicularia), Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Nine-banded Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus)

    Mexican Beaded Lizard (Heloderma horridum)

    Common Chuckwalla (Sauromalus ater)

    The Desert in Darkness:

    Common Vampire Bat (Desmodus rotundus)
    Western Banded Gecko (Coleonyx variegatus)
    Arizona Mountain Kingsnake (Lampropeltis pyromeleana)
    Sidewinder (Crotalus cerastes)
    Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis)
    Desert Box Turtle (Terrapene ornata luteola)
    Gopher Snake (Pituophis melanoleuca)
    Gila Monster
    White-nosed Coati (Nasua narica)
    Rosy Boa (Charina trivirgata)
    Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
    Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes)
     

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  3. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    Next is Eastern Woodlands, an outdoor area with animals found in the eastern United States. Most of the exhibits are okay. I really liked the owl exhibit that was realistically themed as a barn and Black Bear Encounter, which has a large underwater viewing window. There are also a few I didn't like. One is a small flight cage with various birds-of-prey that are used for the Falconry Experience. This cage has very little area to perch. The other and perhaps the worst exhibit at the zoo is the one for the otters. The land area is an acceptable size, but the water area was barely large enough for the two to play around in. The pool took up a footprint of only about 8 square feet, or around 0.75 square meters. Definitely the worst otter exhibit I've seen.

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    First Bobcat exhibit. It's a bit larger than it looks here in the photo and one of the Bobcats is up in the ledge near the building for scale. They also have a slightly smaller habitat connected to this one.

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    Otter exhibit'

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    Black Bear Encounter.

    SPECIES LIST:
    Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
    Barn Owl (Tyto alba)
    Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
    Falconry Experience: Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), Harris’s Hawk (Parabuteo unicinctus)
    Bobcat
    North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis)
    Black Bear Encounter: American Black Bear (Ursus americanus)
    White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus), Eastern Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris)
     
  4. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    Northlands features species from Canada and Alaska. Some things I liked in particular is the porcupine exhibit that allows them to climb very high compared to most exhibits I see (they were both sleeping up there for the entirety of my visit :D). I also liked the eagle and owl exhibits, which are large and nicely planted. The Wolf exhibit is also large. The only one I didn't like was the falcon aviary. It, like the Falconry Experience cage, has very little area for perching.

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    Marten exhibit - upper level.


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    Upper level walkways.

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    Porcupine exhibit. You can see part of the Wolf exhibit to the right across Spring Creek.

    SPECIES LIST:
    American Pine Marten (Martes americana)
    North American Porcupine (Erithizon dorsatum)
    American Pine Marten
    Canada Lynx (Lynx canadensis)
    Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)
    Snowy Owl (Bubo scandiacus)
    Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus)
    Wolf (Canis lupus)
     

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  5. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    The final area of the park is Big Sky Country, featuring species from the northern Great Plains. To enter you must first cross bridge over Spring Creek. The first exhibit is the largest prairie dog exhibit I've ever seen. It's followed by a spacious paddock for Elk and one for a Pronghorn and a crane. Between these paddocks is the Cougar exhibit, which is way too small, though surprisingly isn't the worst Cougar exhibit I've seen. It also has a large stack of rocks in the center that takes up most of the space. I suppose it's meant to simulate a mountain.

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    Prairie dog exhibit.

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    Elk exhibit.

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    Sign about Elk in moat.

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    Pronghorn and crane exhibit. There's a vulture aviary in the center.

    SPECIES LIST:
    Black-tailed Prairie Dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)
    Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)
    Common Raven (Corvus corax)
    Elk (Cervus americanus)
    Cougar (Puma concolor)
    Cougar
    Pronghorn (Antilocapra americana americana), Sandhill Crane (Antigone canadensis)
    Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura)

    Overall I think ZooAmerica is a nice zoo with only a couple exhibits I wasn't pleased with. It's definitely one of the better zoos I've been to and I'd recommend you visit if you're in the area! :)
     
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  6. geomorph

    geomorph Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thank you for the review, were you able to see the black-footed ferret?
     
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  7. red river hog

    red river hog Well-Known Member

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    Yes! :) They have two Black-footed Ferrets, Yessiree and Parker, that rotate throughout the day. The exhibit doesn’t allow them to go out of view, which is acceptable since they aren’t on exhibit for extended periods of time.
     
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