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Aardvark250 ranking his zoo visited

Discussion in 'Asia - General' started by aardvark250, 4 Feb 2020.

  1. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    10. Zoo Negara

    This is one that I really don’t know if I placed it in the right spot. I don’t really like Zoo Negara, but I aren’t sure why I don’t. Perhaps it’s because the construction of the reptile house, or perhaps it seems a bit mismanage for me. Overall, the zoo doesn’t give me the feelings of a very good zoo, but it is still good enough to put in into the top 10.

    First thing I do not like about the zoo is the transportation. The zoo is not located in the city, and it do not have easy transportation to get to. I use the Grab app in Malaysia to get there (Kind of like Uber) and I do think a more convenience way to get there is necessary.

    The second thing I do not like is the zoos seems a bit odd. I don’t think it got the feelings of a good zoo. The entrance cages for monkeys and gibbons seems old, and although it isn’t the smallest, it certainly doesn’t give a very good impression.

    upload_2020-3-9_18-29-1.png Entrance cages for gibbons and monkeys


    Some of the exhibit seems to be well-suited for the animals but not really into my mind. With that being said, some of the exhibit still looks great and should be good for the animals. For example, the african exhibit is quite nice. The panda exhibit is as good as any other panda exhibit around the world, and other zone are quite nice with few exception.

    The construction of the Reptile House means that except the gharials there aren’t reptile and amphibians at the time, so this was a major setback. I think if the reptile house is present on my visit, it will rank higher here. There are also not much rarer species, although the brush-tailed porcupine and the pademelon are lifetick for me. Also present are striped hyena, king cheetah and agile wallaby.

    With all that being said, I think Zoo Negara is still a good zoo, even though my feelings say not a very good one. If a zoo gets panda, it won’t be a bad zoo. (except if you’re in China) Most of zoo negara exhibit suits the animals, and there are some interesting species. The african exhibit looks good but a bit lacking in animals. The mammal kingdom is not bad either, although there aren’t marbled cat or flat-headed cat.

    upload_2020-3-9_18-29-2.png Banteng fighting

    upload_2020-3-9_18-29-2.png Binturong exhibit

    The other exhibits are decent, but some of the animals has a smaller space. Meanwhile, the aviary isn’t one that I like but the flock of storks in the middle of the pond cover that. The butterfly house isn’t bad either, with common marmosets inside it. Overall, the zoo is not bad at all and it just lacks something unique in there.



    Zoo Negara gallery:Zoo Negara - ZooChat
     
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  2. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    One more point that I forget to mention. I think some of the zoo exhibit is on the old side. And I don't mean the exhibit is old. but rather how it is maintained. I mean, some of the cages and bars are getting moss and rust.
    Also, I don't quite like the design of the exhibit. It surely isn't bad, but not "national zoo" standard.
     
  3. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    9. Higashiyama zoo (Nagoya zoo)

    No, I’m not being insane here. Higashiyama zoo sure have some horrible exhibit, but I actually spend the whole day in this zoo. I wasn’t expecting that but from 9 to 4 I was in the zoo whole time. I did spend almost an hour in lunch but that is still 6 hours in the zoo! I previously expecting it to be half day, but it turns out to be a full day zoo for me.


    Anyway, my main target (which I miss) is the volcano rabbit, and that exhibit is good. With tall grass around, I can’t find the rabbit and after checking it out three times, I think it just wasn’t my day. It surely is a disappointment for me.
    upload_2020-3-16_19-16-30.png
    Volcanic rabbit exhibit (I'm sure at least one of them is inside the tall grass)


    Back to the zoo as a whole, the species list is quite good. In fact, I think this is the zoo with most species in Japan (not counting aquarium). It does help that the zoo has a freshwater aquarium, but just counting vertrabrae, JAZA list ~250 species. That’s still a lot, and there are some gems there. Of course, every zoo with aardvark gain a special status, albeit both of them are in the nocturnal house and make photos impossible. Other rare species include: Volcano rabbit, Somali wild ass, Honey badger, Ringtail(in nocturnal house),bearded saki, bush dog, King vulture, Black vulture, wattled crane and brown bulbul to name some. There are also ABCs and large animals, with 2 species of elephant, 2 species of rhino and both hippo and pygmy hippo, as well as 5 species of bear. (Brown, Black, Polar, Spectacled and Sun) A large reptile/amphibian house is also present with at least 70 species, including 7 species of newt, 6 species of salamander and even a caecilian. (Typhlonectes compressicauda)



    In term of exhibit, there are actually some good exhibit in the zoo, and some exhibit would fit in to top-tier zoo perfectly. The raccoon dog exhibit is the best of the bunch in my opinion, with a lot of hiding places and full of vegetations. The volcano rabbit exhibit, as mentioned before, also provide a lot of space for them. Some of the newer section (I presume) are also nicer than others.
    upload_2020-3-16_19-18-55.png
    Raccoon dog exhibit

    However, there are some exceptionally bad exhibit. Both of the hippo exhibit is the worst of the bunch in my mind. Nothing but water and a concrete land. On the concrete land is nothing. No enrichment or vegetation whatsoever. It’s surely one of the worst exhibit for hippos on the planet.
    upload_2020-3-16_19-19-29.png
    Hippo exhibit (Probably on the top 10 worst hippo exhibit in the world)


    Also, the snow leopard exhibit is also ugly and small. The primates cage is just a cage with a few sticks. These are surely some of the worst exhibit in the zoo. And also the polar bear exhibit, which is similar to the one in Tennoji Zoo. (zoo#14 on the list)

    In conclusion, Higashiyama is actually quite similar to the next zoo on the list (no surprise which is the next zoo), with a lot of species (some quite rare) but some exhibit that should not belong in the 70s, nevertheless now. However, with some of the newer additions, the quality improves and some exhibit are actually quite good. I don’t think ranking by number of hours visit is fair, but if that’s a full day zoo, there’s no doubt of it’s collection. The zoo certainly isn’t the best, but it is worth a visit in my opinion.

    Higashiyama zoo gallery:Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens - ZooChat
     
  4. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    8.Ueno Zoo

    I think everyone here on zoochat has at least heard something about Ueno. Being the oldest zoo in Japan (and possibly Asia?), Ueno Zoo is kind of similar in style with Higashiyama, an old city zoo with lots of species, and in the case of Ueno, lots of rare species. I spend quite some time in the zoo, just going through the different animals. There is a reptile house with 40 species, a nocturnal house with tarsiers and galagos, another nocturnal house with pangolin and leopard cat, a Madagascar house with aye-ayes and tenrecs, a bird house with great slaty woodpeckers and great blue turacos, and of course there are other zone with great animals.

    I visit the zoo back in 2016, when I was still 13. That trip is my first “proper” zoo trip, where I visit 2 zoos and 2 aquariums. In August last year, I visit the zoo again and there is where the zoo really hit me. It was a rainy day but I enjoy it. There aren’t a lot of changes, but my mind change so is my feelings.

    The species list is of course really nice, and a small portion of those exhibit is good. The reptile house is quite nice and so is the gorilla zone, but that’s basically it. There are other good exhibits scatter across the zoo, such as the shoebills exhibit. Most of them though, are ok at most and some of them are awful.
    [​IMG]
    Shoebill exhibit

    Some of the worst exhibit include: Pallas cat and meerkat (separate exhibit of course) in the small mammal house, the rhino/ hippo exhibit, as well as the elephant. They need to sort out some of the larger mammals to improve the exhibit of others. The bear pit is mostly bad, but I think it has been improved. More vegetation has been plant there and the exhibit doesn’t look too bad (not as bad as other)

    [​IMG]
    Rhino exhibit

    The bird exhibit is mostly acceptable, and (I think) similar to other bird house in the world. The outer exhibit, such as the secretarybird and the hamorkop exhibit is also good, although more height will be favourable.


    In conclusion, most of the zoo exhibit is not as good as other, but the species list shine out. Ueno is definitely one of the zoos with better species in Asia. But when you got too many species, some of those will be neglected. As such, with a contrast between quality and quantity, I think 8th is where the zoo will be ranked.

    Ueno zoo gallery:Ueno Zoo - ZooChat
     
  5. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    7. Zoorasia

    You’re probably surprised, well except for those who are not. Zoorasia is one of the best zoos in Asia claimed by some, why it is only in 7th? Well, some of Zoorasia exhibit is really good, but there are still some that are just average, and the species lineup seems a bit low in number, as well as the complete lack of animals besides mammals and birds. All of them makes me think this is not even the best zoo in Japan, never mind in Asia.

    Let’s start with the exhibit quality. I must say, most of it is in high quality, with lush vegetation and some hiding space for the animals. Some of the exhibits are also quite large, especially with compare to other Japanese zoos. The exhibits I like the most are the chimpanzee exhibit and the black bear exhibit, which both are lush and large, and provide a lot of enrichment for the animals.
    [​IMG]
    Japanese black bear exhibit

    However, some of the exhibit are on the lower end of the spectrum. I believe with a nice zoo like Zoorasia, there should be more natural enrichment for some of the primates. The douc langurs for example, is in a so-so cage. Yes, there are climbing opportunities, but I think for a species that rare, it should get a better exhibit and not a cage with some branch in it. (ideally an exhibit like the chimp one) Some other bad exhibits include the orangutan and the porcupine.
    [​IMG]
    Exhibit for douc langur, which is not really good.

    In terms of species, there are some rare gems in the zoo. Mammals they have okapis, douc langurs and proboscis monkey. Birds they have bee-eaters and crested argus. Tibetan macaque, dholes, tree kangaroo and woolly monkey are also present. Those are surely some rare species, together with the normal ABCs make a lovely zoo. A big plus is seeing a baby Francois langur. The orange coloration on the baby is really awesome.
    [​IMG]
    Baby langur (light up my day really much)

    However, as mentioned, the zoo complete lacks in herps and inverts. While I’m not too much of a big fan in those categories, I think a good zoo should include a wide range of animal for education value. There’s not much harm having a few of them to tell people about more on the animal world. Also, the whole zoo has only 60-70 species, which is not really a lot.

    One more point I don’t like is the transport from Tokyo. I don’t know if it’s just my problem, but zoos that are accessible with railway is more convenience. There are buses that run from the station to the zoo, but from a country which railway are one of the major transportations, I think a railway station should be near the zoo. From Tokyo to Zoorasia, you need to interchange twice (or even thrice), then take a 15-20 minute bus. It isn’t very hard to get to, but I think

    Overall, Zoorasia is a zoo with great potential and (mostly) high quality. It was a really nice almost 4 hours visit in the zoo. I don’t plan for that long because I want to visit Nogeyama, but just admiring some of the rarer animals in the zoo make the visit really enjoyable. (And make me unable to visit Nogeyama). It isn’t the best in Asia yet, but with more improvement and more animals, I believe the zoo will be better and better.

    Zoorasia gallery:Zoorasia - ZooChat
     
  6. ZooBinh

    ZooBinh Well-Known Member

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    I'm really enjoying this thread aardvark! I saw you mention it on the Discord chat though I haven't gotten to checking it out until now. I'm really glad I did!
     
  7. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    6.Chimelong Safari Park

    I have mixed feelings about Chimelong Safari Park. This is the zoo that start my love for zoo. I have been to this zoo multiple times, from 2007 to 2017. It’s ten year and I go there 7-8 times in this period. The zoo is surely one of the better zoos in China. The exhibit quality is definitely on the higher top of Chinese zoo. However, as I grow up, I start to think the zoo is not that great at all, not on the quality level but how the zoo work itself. Basically, there are 2 things I like and 2 things I don’t like.


    Let’s start off with the like things. The exhibit quality is really good. Most of the exhibit are lush and large. The chimps have a very good exhibit, as well as the hornbill aviary. The macaque exhibit is surely one of the biggest in China, with a suitable amount of climbing opportunities. Most of the exhibit is probably one of the best for them in China, and (I think) the main reason is because they have a lot of money. That’s is not necessary a good thing though.
    [​IMG]
    Chimpanzee exhibit

    The second thing I like is the zoo is huge. When I mean huge, it is surely a full-day zoo. There is a safari section (hence the name “safari park”) and other exhibit too. The swan lake is really big and I think should get more space out of it. There are zone for primates, koalas, pandas and mutant tigers. The safari ride is also large, with it being at least a half-hour ride. And speaking of the ride, this ride is probably better than the one in Night Safari, with more space for the animal. The ride takes you through the 4 continents in the world, as well as having carnivores in separate exhibit. In 2017 there is a cable-car going through the whole zoo, and you can see the animals on top. That’s quite a thing. All of them, combining with the fact the zoo occupy a lot of space, makes it a whole day zoo.
    [​IMG]
    Huge swan lake observed on cable car

    So what’s the problem of having a really large zoo with some really good exhibit? First of all, the species isn’t really that rare. Some of those are rare in China, like koalas and pygmy hippos, but except for proboscis monkey there aren’t many worldbeaters. The zoo should utilize more of its advantages as being one of the best. The zoo also lacks reptiles and amphibians, which I suggest can be improve.

    The second thing, and the most important one, is the zoo being too focus on money. To understand, Chimelong is a really big company. Except for the zoo, they also have a water park, an amusement park and a hotel, as well as Ocean Kingdom in Zhuhai. Animals is just one of their focus to attract visitors. While there are no wrong attracting visitors, Chimelong cannot be the top zoo based on this factor. (at least in my opinion) This money-orientated style lead to a really expensive ticket price (which is not worth it IMO), and tons of gift shops everywhere. To attract visitors, some show for visitors are still present, and the zoo try to gain popularity more often than others.

    I don’t think Chimelong is doing what a zoo should do, but rather what an amusement park should. That’s reasonable consider Chimelong, as I said, is not a zoo organization at all. While I don’t blame Chimelong, I do think the following 5 zoos do much better in education and conservation value, which I think is also a factor to “best zoo” title. I won’t get into why here, as this will be off-topic, but I think Chimelong will not be rank higher based on the fact that I don’t really agree on the way it works.

    Chimelong safari park gallery:Chimelong Safari Park - ZooChat