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any rhino hands on?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by lorilynn, 17 Jun 2015.

  1. lorilynn

    lorilynn New Member

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    wondering if anyone knows of a zoo in the usa - preferably northeast- that has a program where I could actually touch a rhino. I absolutely love them! thanks
     
  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  3. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    I think it is becoming more common. The first one I saw that was set up as a regular thing (similar to the common giraffe feedings) was years ago at Lowry Park Zoo. Reid Park Zoo has been doing it for a long time with special tour groups, but not as a regular visitor thing.
     
  4. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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  5. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I've seen a few Texas zoos do it once, but not as a regular thing.
     
  6. lorilynn

    lorilynn New Member

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    thanks

    im going to go to southwick zoo this summer - so excited!
     
  7. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    I would not recommend that. Southwick's is a dismal zoo with horrendous policies - such as renting performing elephants for the summer to give rides and circus performances all day. They do very little for conservation and even less for animal welfare.
     
  8. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    Southwick's lost its Elephant years ago, I haven't heard of them having any there since.
     
  9. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    They rented some for the summer. Probably for their celebration of some sort for having newborn giraffes that are genetically weak and live at Tufts for their first few months. They also have cages where you can chance needing a tetanus shot. The place is deplorable and is a roadside carnival of sorts. It's on par with York's in Maine. The place is like the doggy bag of AZA phase-outs. If people stopped supporting them they likely wouldn't be able to buy animals at auction to fill their park. But hey, money buys everything and people are naive and love entertainment.
     
  10. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    As for the Elephants: To my knowledge, Rosie and Tai of Have Trunk Will Travel have been rented by Southwick's for the Summer. However, there hasn't been too much media coverage of this situation, so I can't provide any specifics. In any case, Southwick's obviously has despicable, subpar standards for animal welfare.

    Source: Illinois farmer hosts Asian elephants bound for East Coast - seattlepi.com
     
  11. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    I'd also like to point out that, on my final visit several years ago, I was informed by the ticket-taker that I might see some lemur and monkey infants wandering about outside their cages because they could fit through the chain link fencing - but I was not to worry, since they would return to their mothers at the first sign of danger and, in turn, did not pose a danger to the public.

    I was incredulous. Talk about tempting fate.
     
  12. Phantom Gaur

    Phantom Gaur Well-Known Member

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    That's strange.... with a Trip Advisor rating of 4 out of 5 stars (4 bad reviews out of 256) and a Yelp rating of 4 out of 5 stars and an annual attendance of 500,000.... doesn't sound like such a deplorable place to me!
     
  13. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    If attendence is so high and ticket costs are $24 for adults, $18 for kids and seniors and the usual kids free under a certain age, surely they are making a healthy profit, no? All the carney-like rides and such, animal encounters, concession and souvenirs, they must make over $10,000,000 USD (low balling) for their short season. If they're doing so well and raking in the money, why are more than half (being nice) of the exhibits subpar? Surely being open for half the year the cost of running the carney side of things shuts down. The employee salaries must be some of the highest paid in the country, because whete does the money go? Surely not to better exhibits. Yeah, it costs to feed and care for the animals, but there seems to be a huge gap. Maybe the owners are pizza partying all year long? If they do so well, why doesn't it show in the quality of exhibits? The game fencing, stone dust and metal bar cages, doesn't make sense if they do so well. The chimpanzee exhibit is the nicest exhibit there. Everything else is, subpar. They rent elephants for rides for a few months. It's more than a Zoo is right. Probably a money laundering operation for Walter White in the trees beyond the fence (I joke). If they can charge so much for operating six months a year, surely they can exhibit their animals better? Most are locked in for the winter in holding and barns I'm sure. There's a gap that doesn't add up for all they rake in. Probably why they stick to the ZAA.
     
  14. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    If Southwick's is such a wonderful zoo, prove it. Tell me about their conservation programs, educational endeavors, wildlife rehabilitation, and excellent standard of animal care. Because I have been to Southwick's at least a half a dozen times, and I have found all the aforementioned qualities to be absent. Instead, I have seen Lion and Tiger cubs paraded around on leashes for photos with visitors, Coatis running circles in a cage 1 meter in diameter, and clipped parrots spun on batons during circus acts. It is unfortunate that the general public is too naïve to understand that these scenarios are objectionable. Instead they say, "ooh, look, a big tortoise! I'm gonna pet it!" As they reach over a low wall to rub their bacteria all over a pair of Aldabra Tortoises. But don't believe me; visit for yourself. You will be disappointed.
     
  15. Phantom Gaur

    Phantom Gaur Well-Known Member

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    Instead of hi-jacking this post which was originally simply asking if there were any zoos around that had rhino encounters and going on and on and on with two people who obviously have a vendetta against this particular zoo for some reason (I've been to around 150 zoos in U.S. and Canada and have seen plenty of worse conditions!!)....I'll simply say I guess you two win. You are more intelligent than the other 498,000 people who visited the zoo and were oblivious to the conditions there and I guess you are correct, there are no other zoos out there that have "metal bar cages"or stone dust or "game fencing". I'm also pretty sure that none of the zoos that get state and city funding have ever blown that money away and not executed their plans to return an animal promised like....let's say a polar bear, for example. I'm also pretty sure none of those big glorious zoos that get their state and city funding have money raising campaigns every year where they beg for money to bring back seals or threaten to have to shut down and euthanize animals if people don't donate. You are pretty correct on one thing though, Southwicks does have the largest collection of animals to have to feed and is only open for 7 months out of the year. I hope someday I can see things like you two can!!
     
  16. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    Agreed.

    I would hate to see the winter quarters they have for their animals. You can see the exterior of most of them from the paths - all those little CMU buildings with little or no windows. How they can cram all those tropical species in such small spaces is beyond me. Of course, most visitors assume the animals take a nice vacation to Florida during the winter. They're always surprised when I tell them that's simply not true...
     
  17. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    I think we've found a Southwick's employee!

    Phantom Guar, I do not see why you are so upset that people are criticizing Southwick's. If zoos were never criticized, nothing would ever improve at them. Logically, one should prefer progress to obstinacy, and therefore criticism should be encouraged. I could give many examples of zoos which dramatically improved structurally and ethically due to criticism: Central Park Zoo, Franklin Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Lowry Park Zoo, Zoo Atlanta, et cetera.

    However, it could be the case that you find absolutely nothing amiss at Southwick's and therefore feel the need to defend the zoo. If that is so, I'd suggest you educate yourself on modern practices of animal husbandry, zoo management, and conservation biology; you might just find that Southwick's is rather archaic in regard to all three of these

    Or, perhaps you just don't care simply because "there are worst conditions out there." That's a rather moot point, since you could defend every zoo except for the most deplorable with that logic. In fact, you could say every single zoo in America is fine just the way it is because there are third-world zoos which are worse.

    And, um, hijacking a thread? I don't believe that's ever happened before on ZooChat...;)
     
  18. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    this is a genuine question - why have you been there at least half a dozen times if it is so deplorable?
     
  19. Phantom Gaur

    Phantom Gaur Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Chlidonias...that is a very good question.
     
  20. The Vegan

    The Vegan Well-Known Member

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    I have lived in New England all my life, and so, I visited Southwick's at least three or four times as a child. Of course, as a child, I was too naïve to find anything too objectionable, and I tossed food into enclosures and stuck my fingers into parrot and primate cages with ignorant impunity.

    As I grew older, I became more respectful and cautious, and these behaviors ceased. At that time I also became interested in zoology, and therefore the zoo became quite appealing, and I visited perhaps three or four more times.

    However, I then began reading literature on animal husbandry and welfare, and I became very dissatisfied with the conditions at the zoo. It was then that I boycotted Southwick's Zoo.

    Last year, I briefly considered visiting the zoo again because I met a Southwick's Zoo volunteer at college. She told me that many changes had happened at Southwick's and that the zoo was certainly worth a visit. She made a convincing argument, but once I began asking questions, it became apparent that little has changed. She confirmed that toddlers were still allowed to wander around the "Deer Forest" alongside bucks in full rut; She confirmed that the perpetually clipped parrots were still kept in the dark, dingy primate cages near the entrance, with little in the of enrichment; She told me that the zoo had continued breeding success with species such as hybrid giraffes and hybrid lions that are non-threatened and, in fact, overpopulated in captivity. And last but not least, she stumbled when I asked her about conservation efforts; apparently, the zoo has no efforts of its own - not even on a local scale - and instead makes "donations to rhino conservation groups." Given that I have not seen any reports of grand donations to these groups, I suspect that they are relatively small, token donations.

    Indeed, it would be interesting to see just how EARTH Ltd., an independent non-profit based at the zoo that is responsible for all of zoo's conservation efforts, relates to the for-profit Southwick's Zoo. Those finances must be very complicated, to say the least, and I cannot help but think of the issues that arose when former Lowry Park Zoo director Lex Salisbury began treating the non-profit Lowry Park Zoo and the for-profit Safari Wild as a single institution.

    Now that the zoo is regressing further with the addition of circus elephants, I will surely be keeping my distance. All things considered, it is very disappointing to see that a zoo I once supported so much has done so little to improve itself.

    Cheers,
    The Vegan