Join our zoo community

Bedilda Sue's Squinkle Zoo

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by BedildaSue, 2 Nov 2014.

  1. BedildaSue

    BedildaSue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    61
    Location:
    Homewood, AL 35209
    Hello everyone! I see everyone post their fantasy zoo ideas constantly, and think, "Goodness me! I'd like to take a crack at it!" but I never do! Well, today, my friends, I shall. Please keep in mind that I am already aware some of these species would probably never be seen in captivity. A girl can dream, can't she?

    Anyway, I thought I would start my first exhibit with an idea I've had for a little while called The Brink of Extinction. The area would include a variety of enclosures for species that are were either once in danger of extinction, are currently extinct in the wild, or are currently on the verge of extinction.

    After walking down a small path filled with plenty of signage about the threats many animals experience in the wild (e.g., deforestation, introduced species, hunting, the pet trade, etc.), the visitor would come to the first section. This section would include enclosures for species that humans have helped a great deal to save from extinction, even if their current conservation status is not Least Concern. Every enclosure would include signage that contains the animal's current conservation status, how humans have helped them regain much of their population, and the threats still facing them in their natural habitat.

    The first enclosure would be a large, netted one for a troop of golden lion tamarins, Leontopithecus rosalia. The exhibit would extend overhead and continue on the other side of the path, so visitors could watch the small monkeys scurry over them to connect to the other side. I felt that these would be a good choice for the first species to be shown in this part of the zoo because they are so cute and charismatic, so visitors are more likely to be drawn to wanting to help save this species - especially if they read the signage that explains their numbers in the wild were once lower than 200 - but let's face it, what casual visitor reads the signage anyway? It's worth a shot!

    Further up the path is a glass-fronted exhibit for a breeding pair of black-footed ferrets, Mustela nigripes. These adorable critters were declared extinct mere decades ago, and their conservation status has since been elevated to Endangered. Across the path, an enormous and tall exhibit for two peregrine falcons, Falco peregrinus would stretch both above and below the path. There would be plenty of perching space for the attractive birds, but also plenty of space allowing them to stretch their wings and fly. There would be a telescope for visitors to look into in case the birds were very far away.

    Meanwhile, the left side of the path would start to curve around, and visitors would come to a large enclosure for four Przewalski's horses, Equus ferus (subspecies?). This field would be adjacent to another large, open field for Formosan sika deer, Cervus nippon taiouanus. Both of these beautiful ungulate species have had their numbers drastically reduced and then bounced back, with the wild horses having once been extinct in the wild!

    By the time the sika deer enclosure ends and the path straightens out again, the visitor encounters the next section of the exhibit complex, which includes species that currently only exist in captivity. Rockwork on the left would contain fairly sized enclosures for Wyoming toads, Anaxyrus baxteri, and Kihansi spray toads, Nectophrynoides asperginis. On the opposite side of the path close ahead would be an aviary for Socorro doves, Zenaida graysoni. Visitors would be able to read signage nearby about the now-extinct passenger pigeon, whose flocks once flew together by the billions, and how humans knowingly murdered the last wild flock. The path for the second section would be somewhat narrower up to this point, before opening up to an enormous African desert-themed mixed-species exhibit on the left for scimitar oryxes, Oryx dammah; Addra gazelles, Nanger dama ruficollis; and addax, Addax nasomaculatus. The gazelles and addax are, of course, not extinct in the wild, but are critically endangered and their populations are being assisted by conservationists.

    Further along on the right-hand side, a sign would explain the purpose of the next section: species that are currently on the brink of extinction. Here, admittedly, is where I become most fantastical with my species. No, there is nothing like the Javan rhino, but several of these animals would still not be found in captivity in real life. Nonetheless, we keep truckin' to see a large exhibit for two California condors, Gymnogyps californianus. It would be similar in largeness to the aforementioned peregrine falcon enclosure, but would feature more cliffwork. Signage would explain that we have already come a long way in helping these special birds of prey, but that there is much more work to be done, as they are still critically endangered.

    The path would now veer off to the left, where the path would lead exhibits in a circular pattern to see four exhibits and then rejoin the current path. The first exhibit would be a large, naturalistic and forested enclosure for the very rare Spix's macaw, Cyanopsitta spixii. A fairly large glass-fronted exhibit with a smaller viewing window would follow for Darwin's fox, Pseudalopex fulvipes, with signage explaining that these gorgeous canids have been mercilessly persecuted because they are believed to kill domestic fowl, even though that is not a usual activity for them at all. The next exhibit would be a spacious wetlands enclosure for a small family of Cozumel raccoons, Procyon pygmaeus. To finish off this little walkabout would be a very large, somewhat hilly enclosure for the world's most endangered cat, Iberian lynx, Lynx pardinus. Enrichment for all of these species would occur on a regular basis (at least daily), and signage would explain the kinds of ways we try to keep these highly endangered species active and simulating wild behavior.

    When the visitor returns to the main path, they are led to the final section, a graveyard-esque area with large tombstones containing carved pictures of animals humans have hunted to extinction. Species would include the dodo bird, thylacine, passenger pigeon, quagga, Falkland Island wolf, great auk, Carolina parakeet, Steller's sea cow, and more. In the middle of this cemetery would be some ghastly rockwork with a large terrarium containing the stunning peacock tarantula, Poecilotheria metallica, a critically endangered invertebrate that, as an arachnid, fits in with the graveyard theme.

    To end the exhibit area, a narrow path would lead from the graveyard back to the rest of the zoo, with signs detailing the accomplishments of several famous and successful conservation programs, as well as the various conservation efforts in which our zoo is heavily involved. As a final message of hope, from the end of the path one can see across to the first enclosure of the zoo's North American area entitled Home on the Range which contains a few more species that humans have also helped save from extinction, American bison, Bison bison, and pronghorn, Antilocapra americana.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Please tell me your opinions! This was my first ever zoo design so I'm kind of nervous to post it...I figure at least one person will chastise me for including Darwin's fox and the like. :p Hope you enjoyed reading!

    - Bedilda Sue
     
  2. cloudedleopard

    cloudedleopard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    551
    Location:
    Land of Liberty
    This is a great zoo. I thought I had invented the name "Home on the Range" for bison/pronghorn paddocks in my dream drive-thru safari parks like LCS or ASWP.
     
  3. BedildaSue

    BedildaSue Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Jan 2014
    Posts:
    61
    Location:
    Homewood, AL 35209
    Thank you, cloudedleopard! I assure you I didn't mean to take your exhibit name -- it is one I have had in my head for a while and I just really like it. There is always room for the sharing of exhibit names -- just think of how many "Wild Asia Trails" there are in zoos out there :p
     
  4. cloudedleopard

    cloudedleopard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    551
    Location:
    Land of Liberty
    It's a good point about the Asia Trails. I like when people copy my names.
    There are Asian Trails/Wild Asia at-
    Akron Zoo- Asian Trail (white stork, red panda)
    National Zoo- Asia Trail (sloth bear, clouded leopard, fishing cat, Asian otters, Japanese salamanders, red panda, giant panda)
    Erie Zoo- Wild Asia (reptiles, siamang, orangutan, Indian muntjac)
    G'Day Mate is a good exhibit name for Australia or More than Emus, making fun of zoos that have 1 wallaby and 1 emu for Australia.
     
  5. longleat diego

    longleat diego Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Sep 2012
    Posts:
    249
    Location:
    Co.Wexford,Ireland

    Taronga too;)
     
  6. cloudedleopard

    cloudedleopard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    13 Jul 2014
    Posts:
    551
    Location:
    Land of Liberty
    Erie Zoo also has red pandas in Wild Asia.
    Lee Richardson Zoo in Kansas also has a big Wild Asia.