Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Coquinguy, 14 May 2007.
Well it was nearly 8 years ago ... must be mixing up my bears !
well of course it depends on the species doesn't it?
however, for black or brown bears for example - a exhibit more reminiscent of melbournes gorilla enclosure rather than a grotto would be what i would consider acceptable. move away from the concrete and go with a green and spacious exhibit that has more enrichment activities and promotes activity, particuarly climbing and swimming. www.zoolex.org has some nice examples of brown bear exhibits that i'm inpressed by.
sunbears are a tricky one, since they don't lend themselves particuarly well to being seen and like to sleep high in trees (you would too if you shared territory with tigers and leopards!). i think the best scenario for bear and visitor alike would be to have a regular rotation sytem, with each bear having access to its own territory at the back of exhibit and taking turns throught the day to spend time in the display enclosure. if the display enclosure was fitted with plenty of tall climbing trees close to the visitor areas and packed with enrichment devices, it may encourage, not only the bears to be mega-active for the few hours they are on display but also the rotation system would better reflect a scenario of each bear with individual and very private territories and areas that overlap (the display enclosure).
in the end however i think the key here is that i always feel enrichment opportunities are far greater in larger areas of space. the animals rather than handed their toys, actually have to look for them. another point is that i think its very important animals are provided with a clear line of sight outside their exhibit. that can be enriching in itself..
Adelaide ZOo recently euthanised one of its brown bears, leaving one solitary bear.
wht was it's comditions and details
1. I love the Syrian bear photos- they are such beautifully coloured bears. Australia seems to still have possibly more of these on exhibit than elsewhere- obviously they are related animals.
2. Regarding living conditions for bears generally- considerably more space seems to be the desirable factor- give them plenty of space and everything else- enrichment such as vegetation,climbing facilities, views, swimming opportunity etc all fall into place....
3. Sun Bears and Asiatics are both great tree climbers- I think both species build sleeping nests in trees (Asiatic certainly does) I have a feeling Sun bear may be better of being exhibited more like Red Pandas i.e. more accent on climbing area/trees in the exhibit rather than additional ground space.
I think Pat's idea of something wooded for both these species is along the right lines here...
At san diego they had lots of trees and a pool for their sun bears. They were not showing any sterotypical behaviour. The pair at Basel were swaying and pacing continuosly.
..... but their claws weren't overgrown.
yes when i saw asiatic blacks in laos there was about 3 of them and all were sleeping high in the forks of the trees.
not sure how arboreal sloth bears are, but they are tough buggers. i've seen them in doco's slap leopards around.
I don'#t think Sloth bears are arboreal at all. In many ways they are more like anteaters than bears, at least in their manner of feeding.
They are nasty buggers too- very aggressive and will kill people who come across them in the wild- more feared than leopards apparently. And ugly too?
All in all my least favourite bear species though of course they are still very interesting creatures...
I actually think they're quite cute!
Anyways the sloth bears in Singapore are not very arboreal. They're provided with climbing structures but only utilize them when food enrichment is placed high up. Supposedly they should like to hang from trees like a sloth, hence their name, but i've never seen them do that before...
london zoo managed to design a good slth bear exhibit. i didnt feel sorry for their sloth bears at all-they had plenty of space, vistas beyond the exhibit, uneven terrain, timber platforms and shelters and an artificial termite mound. plus the whole exhibit seemed to get changed around quite frequently.
in terms of aesthetics it might not have been the prettiest enclosure, as its based within the mappin terraces which are heritage listed but overall its a great exhibit in terms of animal needs.
i didnt feel sorry for them
Uh Oh,sorry but isn't this thread is only for animals we feel sorry for....
London's sloth bear exhibit encompasses two thirds of the old Mappin terraces, so is very roomy. I don't know how much of the enrichment the bears actually use. One of the original ones was very stereotyped from its previous small enclosure (in India?) ZSL have bred them. My only critisism is they aren't particularly visible to the public.
response to earlier comment on this thread
if auckland zoo got on board thats ten zoos in total holding bears.........
Hindsight is a good thing , but if you ask Auckland for their biggest "mistake" in the whole history of their zoo , they would most likely say it was the attempt to adequately house and breed bears .
The Canadian Government even went as far as to offer a young pair of polar bears for free to the zoo , and the zoo said " No more bears of ANY type , please " Auckland Zoo still refuses to even house Sun bears .
The closest they got to a bear since the last of the old bears died was a temporary exhibit of Chinese Pandas for 3 months only . It was emphasised that this was a temporary show .
hmmm - i sense a story brewing here.
nigel you have my attention!
what happened to aucklands bears that warranted them never being able to "bear" them again?!!!!!
this is starting to develop into a new thread , so I started one .
Have a look under BEARS
Jay , can you add anything from the book ?
Separate names with a comma.