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Auckland Zoo Auckland Zoo Pridelands Escarpment - Review

Discussion in 'New Zealand' started by ZooBoyNZ, 24 Apr 2016.

  1. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    New Zealand
    I visited Auckland Zoo a few days ago (21.4.16) to check our their new Pridelands Escarpment in the African area of the zoo. I thought I would do a little review/walk through of it, and I will upload a few images to the gallery tomorrow and link them to this thread.

    The new development begins at the far end of the giraffe, zebra and ostrich paddock. There is a new platform which is where I think giraffe feeding will take place when the giraffes are more used to the new development. In this area is lots of new signage, I think all the signs look very good and they are very interesting.

    As you continue, the path slopes down from the boardwalk and you find yourself at ground level. After passing collapsed rock forms and a few trees
    and plants you come to an African shelter with views out onto the Savannah. There is a waterhole at the front of the shelter which the zebras were drinking from and it is complete with a trickling rock waterfall. This is a nice place to sit in the shade and look out onto the African plain. ;)
    On the opposite side is a very nice looking enclosure which is home to a pair of meerkats. The glass front and design of the enclosure enables you to get very close to them.

    As you walk around the path, you come to the entrance of the new walkthrough aviary which is home to a large flock of African masked lovebirds. The aviary has fully grown trees inside (which most of the lovebirds were sitting in on my visit) and there is an aviary bypass if you are a bit nervous of birds. As you enter the aviary there is a cave, waterfalls and on the left looking out onto the Savannah, is the second, larger meerkat enclosure which is home to a family mob. This enclosure is very nicely landscaped and it has pop up domes for visitors, so you are able to view the meerkats close up at eye level. These new domes are superior to the old ones, they have been redesigned so you don't have to do much crawling around in the tunnels and the domes are a lot more spacious. I spent a good 15 minutes in the tunnel watching the meerkats burrowing in the dirt and climbing on top of the dome! :D I think its really cool that now the meerkats can look out and see the large African animals on the Savannah.

    Also in the aviary is an area for the zoo's African leopard tortoises. They have an outdoor yard for summer time or when the weather is warm (there were three adult tortoises in this pen on my visit) and there is also a temperature controlled, glass fronted enclosure for the tortoises which enables them to be displayed all year round even when the weather is cold. In this enclosure there were several tiny baby leopard tortoises as well as a few adults. After passing traditional African decorated bird houses for the lovebirds and a little creek running across the visitor path, you exit the aviary, and end up at the lion viewing shelter.

    Overall, I am very impressed with this new development at the zoo. There is so much attention to detail, and it really makes it an immersive African experience. I was told by a Zoo Volunteer that the aviary will become home to more new species over time. Great work Auckland Zoo!
    I hope you all enjoyed this review/walkthrough, and I plan to do more like this on some of the zoo's future developments. :)
     
    Last edited: 24 Apr 2016
  2. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the review ZooBoyNZ, looking forward to the photos.

    So the main meerkat enclosure is within the aviary, and there is nothing separating the lovebirds from the meerkats?

    Does there look to be enough space in the exhibit to add porcupine in the future? Did the volunteer mention what other species may be added?
     
  3. ZooBoyNZ

    ZooBoyNZ Well-Known Member

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    New Zealand
    Hi zooboy28,
    Thank you, I only took a few photos of the area (unfortunately I didn't get any good photos of the large meerkat enclosure) but I will upload a few others sometime today.
    Yes, the main meerkat enclosure is in the aviary, and there is nothing seperating the lovebirds from them. And the exhibit is definitely large enough to accomodate porcupines in the future.
    The volenteer mentioned chameleons and African grey parrots; not sure if or when this will actually happen though.:D
     
  4. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    Melbourne, Aust (ex. NZ)
    It would be great if they added further species in time, and Chameleons and African Greys would be logical.