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Toronto Zoo Australasia Pavilion

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Van Beal, 5 Sep 2022.

  1. Van Beal

    Van Beal Well-Known Member

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    There is one thing that's been bugging me about the Australasia Pavilion at the Toronto Zoo. I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but there's a meshed-in forested area beside the building, visible as you head to the entrance of the pavilion. I always look in just to see if I can spot anything, but never do. Does anyone know if anything lives in there, and if so, what does?
     
  2. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Thats the old extension of the aviary. Several of the walls of the aviary are capable of sliding open so the birds can have access to the outside. However its been forever since they opened the doors. If I remember correctly they stopped letting the birds out there when they lost a number of the rainbow lorikeets they used to house. The lories developed some kind of brain parasite thanks to raccoon poop. They couldnt keep the coons away an were worried they would lose some of the more valuable birds so it was better to just keep them safe and sound inside. There was a secondary reason they stopped using it too. There is an invasive species of vine... I want to say dog strangling vine... that kept coming back into the exhibit. They fought it for years but after the deaths of the lories they the constant battle against the vines didnt seem as worth it. They have let the exhibit go for years. At times they have housed things like the ring necked pheasants out there just to have something there or just give a home to someone who needed one. Currently its empty.

    However there is a plan to open it back up for the birds. The zoo has plans out for bid to do the work so its revamp should happen by sometime next year.

    https://www.torontozoo.com/pdfs/rfp/2022/TZC T 41-2022-08 AUSTRALASIA OUTDOOR AVIARY.COMBINED.pdf
     
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  3. Van Beal

    Van Beal Well-Known Member

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    Oh okay. Thanks, I've always been curious about what it was.
     
  4. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    It's been an unfortunate waste of space for so long. At least they are looking to bring it back to life finally. It's a decent sized space that could be so much more. Hopefully it will mean we can get more species down the line.
     
  5. Van Beal

    Van Beal Well-Known Member

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    Yeah. I don't exactly know why but I always imagine it turning into a cassowary exhibit, even though it probably isn't large enough, maybe a koala habitat.
     
  6. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Oh definitely not big enough for cassowaries. I wouldnt be sad if they zoo went that way one day and build a bigger exhibit. I doubt it will happen.

    The zoo did mention getting koalas in their last animal plan but that plan was released in a pre pandemic world. Toronto was going to try to import koalas from Australia following their massive wildfires. They were looking at moving them into the tree kangaroo exhibit like they had them the last time San Diego lent us a pair for the summer. Then the pandemic happened. Australia has had nearly 3 years to find space to house the koalas who couldnt be released. The pressure isnt on them anymore to find homes o the odds of Toronto being able to import any has dropped probably dramatically. Still possible but I think the odds are against us now. San Diego still could decide to lend us some of their spares. The goal though was to help bring in new genetics to boost the North America population.

    Odds are if we get more species its likely going to be more birds. Maybe another species of wallaby or just more Bennett's. Gotta remember we need to be able to house anything new all winter when the yard wont be accessible. The tree kangaroo exhibit will eventually be available so that does provide a little more possibilities. Only time will tell what they will do.
     
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  7. Van Beal

    Van Beal Well-Known Member

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    Yeah when all the Master Plan stuff is done I'll have to stop by the zoo again and see what's new and what's the same.
     
  8. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Lol the Master Plan is supposed to take at least 15 years! Dont wait! Definitely make a trip next summer once the orang exhibit opens. The more we see of it the more we all think we could end up with a world class exhibit and not just the run of the mill good enough exhibit we have grown so used to. I bet the new tiger expansion will be ready for spring as well. The Australiasia outdoor aviary may reopen by summer depending on just how involved all that work will be. If you haven't been in awhile the penguins got an upgrade which isn't a full blown reno but a definite improvement. The primate wing in the Americas got a significant upgrade visually speaking. The new team is all about doing small but significant upgrades as they can afford to do them and when they do the job they do it well.

    Next summer they will probably do work on the jaguar exhibit, expanding into the spider monkey exhibit. Front entrance work is suppose to kick off as the next major project. There will be more bathroom improvements (long overdue ones). Likely there are projects we know about Im forgetting and there will probably be more projects we have no idea are coming. We now have a management team that likes to get stuff done. There will always be something new to enjoy when you visit even if its just a smaller project.
     
  9. Van Beal

    Van Beal Well-Known Member

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    Oh wow. Okay yeah I'll make my next visit ASAP. Also you seem to know quite a bit about it, do you work there or is the schedule for the project available somewhere?
     
  10. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Nah I dont work at the zoo. I wish. I have just been here forever and learned how to scrounge up info really well. I'm sure there is a schedule somewhere out there. The master plan gives a rough guide... very rough. We usually find out about projects though through the bids the zoo puts out or when someone stumbles across work being done. Kinda depends if the zoo is doing work themselves or getting a team in to do the work.

    The bids can be found here...

    Toronto Zoo | Business Opportunities

    Also we do tend to mine the board meetings for info too which can be found here...

    Decision Body Profile

    Several of us here are pretty good scroungers when it comes to info and our sources and areas of expertise varies which makes this a pretty strong and resourceful group.

    If you are interested in past stuff I really recommend going back to the earliest threads and read your way forward in time. Some of the original zoo chatters were amazingly knowledgeable, especially about the past. Plus its fun to see what they thought would happen with projects and watch them develop like Tundra Trek, the Rainforest or Eurasia (admittedly disappointing as that one is). I also always recommend my family tree thread if you want to know about many of the animals who have called the zoo home. Fascinating to see the success stories and the utter disasters we have had and some of the cool species you didnt realize the zoo once held.
     
  11. StellarChaser

    StellarChaser Well-Known Member

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    Could Toronto Zoo get sufficient eucalyptus leaves if Koalas are truly brought in? I know the Zoo used to keep Koalas around 2000, but only for a few year.
     
  12. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    Getting eucalyptus would be no different for the zoo then getting bamboo for the pandas. You just make deals and ship it in. It would make the koalas more expensive, which is why the zoo has only ever kept them for about 6 months at a time, but if they are committed koalas it can be done. We live in a global world. Someone somewhere is growing enough that the zoo could buy up and ship whats needed.
     
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  13. Van Beal

    Van Beal Well-Known Member

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    When has the zoo had koalas in the past?
     
  14. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    This is more of a question for former zoo animals and can easily be found in the family tree thread but 1988, 1996, and lastly 2002. The last visit did not go well. One died before going on display. The other died shortly before returning home to San Diego. The longest visit lasted just over 6 months including a 30 day quarantine.
     
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  15. Van Beal

    Van Beal Well-Known Member

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    Ok thanks. Also sorry for asking in the wrong thread :oops:
     
  16. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member 10+ year member

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    No problem @Van Beal. Just helps to keep things in the right place so others can find the answers more easily in the future.
     
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