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Best Leopard exhibits

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by jaguar78, 28 Mar 2010.

  1. jaguar78

    jaguar78 Well-Known Member

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    The African and Indian Leopard is rarely exhibited in zoos I have been to in the US. In fact I see more of these leopards in animal sanctuaries after they have been rescued which I find to be very sad. Some of the better exhibits I have seen were at these zoos.

    Maryland zoo - nice large exhibit for African leopards
    Philadelphia zoo - part of an excellent big cats exhibit
    KC zoo - decent exhibit but not ideal. Lacks alot of creativity
    Omaha Zoo - old style concrete and glass exhibit - great diversity of cats but the Cat building is badly outdated
    Topeka zoo - nice new exhibit for black leopard with alot of foliage and climbing areas
    San Antonio zoo - black leopards took over the snow leopard exhibit
    St. Louis zoo - amur leopard in great cat exhibit - very unique exhibit which won best new exhibit award in late 70's - still modern exhibit with great creativity for climbing areas for cats
    Wichita zoo - nice newer fenced exhibit for amur leopard
    South Bend zoo - nice newer fenced exhibit for two beautiful amur leopards
    Cleveland Zoo - only zoo with Persian leopard that I am aware of - exhibit is boring and can tell animal is not stimulated - should update exhibit and make larger and get another leopard to help with stimulation of the animal
    columbus zoo - decent exhibit that is part of African exhibit - wish it was bigger for the animal
    Lincoln Park zoo - old style zoo exhibit which is well taken care of and still a decent exhibit
    Central Florida zoo - smaller exhibit for two amur leopards - clean and well taken care of exhibit but should be larger for two cats
    Jacksonville zoo - two nice amur leopards in a caged exhibit

    I welcome other comments on African/Indian Leopard exhibits in US or elsewhere
     
    Last edited: 28 Mar 2010
  2. ^Chris^

    ^Chris^ Well-Known Member

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    I've seen leopards at a number of UK zoos (London in the past, Linton, Thrigby Hall, Twycross) and never in the most outstanding of exhibits. It's usually just a big cage full of logs. (I admit the collections I have mentioned, I have not visited recently- things may've changed).

    http://www.zoochat.com/189/sri-lankan-leopards-banham-zoo-7-a-70320/
    This is, I think, the UK's biggest leopard enclosure. I have never seen it in real life, only heard about. If you're interested in leopard exhibits though I think it's interesting because of its open top. Looks pretty good from the pic.
     
  3. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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  4. Blackduiker

    Blackduiker Well-Known Member

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  5. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    Maryland's leopard is an Amur leopard
     
  6. KevinB

    KevinB Well-Known Member

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  7. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    A bit of a thread resurrection isn't it?
    YWP's has been built since Chris mentioned Banhams possibly being the biggest in the UK.

    I think i've asked a few times why Leopard enclosures tend to be quite small and relatively dark. YWP's leopards can be quite elusive and not because of heavy foliage ... are they just more comfortable in smaller spaces? I've often wondered how many animals with big ranges in nature, would actually be more content in a decent zoo with someone else providing the food and keeping predators and rivals away.
     
  8. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Minnesota has a nice set of Amur Leopard enclosures.
     
  9. Gomphothere

    Gomphothere Well-Known Member

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    The Bronx Zoo exhibits two black leopards (so I presume they're Asian), a mother and daughter, in a predator prey exhibit in Wild Asia (there are monkeys behind the back glass). The exhibit isn't huge, but is fairly tall (which you can't see here):
     
  10. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    There really aren't that many good Leopard exhibits in the USA (no sure about Europe), but here are some good ones I've seen recently. San Diego has a nice African Leopard exhibit in their African Rocks zone- it's decently sized with plenty of climbing opportunities. Brookfield Zoo also has a decent Amur Leopard exhibit, but other than those two I can't really think of other good Leopard exhibits.
     
  11. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that someone mentioned this exhibit, as it has mostly received negative feedback on this site. Last I heard, though, Bronx no longer keeps leopards in JungleWorld.
     
  12. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    I'm not a fan of the leopard exhibit at Saint Louis, or actually any of the exhibits in Big Cat Country. It was certainly good for its time (worth noting that it was built in the late 90's, not the late 70's) but now it seems outdated. The chief complaint about it actually isn't enclosure size or design, as both of those are fairly good; my main issue is that you look down at all of the cats from above. The current trend/standard in zoo exhibitry is to put animals at eye-level with minimal distance, and for good reason: it commands more respect for the animal, is a more thrilling experience, and offers a conduit for more emotional and personal connections. Looking down on animals from a far distance is cold, distant, and calls back to a time of bear and lion pits.

    As for a good leopard enclosure that I've seen, the one at Living Desert is pretty good. My favorite is at Philadelphia, which has a very natural-looking forest exhibit with multiple viewing angles, yet plenty of vegetation for hiding spots.
     
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  13. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Here is my opinion on Saint Louis' Big Cat Country. Huge exhibits are a plus, but the views are from pretty far away. In the end, they balance each other out and become average.
     
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  14. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but they used to have African (one of only a few pure-blooded African leopards at the time, along with Columbus). It was there when I visited in 2005.

    The AZA has committed to maintaining only the Amur race of leopard, due to their critically endangered status. This may be a fair commitment, though I will point out the AZA has no issues with maintaining three races of tiger!

    Most non-accredited zoos have hybrid leopards but they usually list them as African leopards (even the black ones, though the black genes come from various Asian races imported years ago).

    Leopards do indeed get the shaft here in the States. Perhaps the largest and best (and open topped) exhibits are at Out Of Africa, but they frustratingly mix their leopards with other big cats. Minnesota Zoo is reportedly nice and I would like to see it some day. In Europe, Le Parc Des Felins has large open topped exhibits, as they do for all their big cats. They also have four different exhibits for four varieties: Persian, Amur, Sri Lanka, and black (generic).

    The Living Desert has a pretty good exhibit but I would like to see it bigger (with more viewing areas). Staten Island opened a new exhibit a couple years ago - has anyone here seen it? Philadelphia I agree is one of the best.
     
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  15. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    They’ve got one again, a normal spotted Amur.
    I saw it in 2017, it was pretty nice. It had a lot of vertical height, and it’s one of the better leopard exhibits I’ve seen. I plan to visit again next month so I’ll take some photos.
     
  16. Hipporex

    Hipporex Well-Known Member

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  17. Daktari JG

    Daktari JG Well-Known Member

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    Big Cat Country opened in 1976. For certain.
     
  18. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    Huh, you're right. Dunno why I thought 1996. Maybe it was renovated then or something. That probably better explains the design.
     
  19. Mbwamwitu

    Mbwamwitu Well-Known Member

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    Could that be because there are more exhibit spaces for tigers across AZA-accredited zoos? It'd seem like most zoos would want to exhibit tigers while leopards might have the lowest draw for visitors of all five big cat species. So, there's just more space and size for three viable gene pools of tiger versus one of leopard? In addition to the fact that the Siberian, Sumatran and Malayan tiger populations are all more endangered than African, Indian or Sri Lankan leopard (not sure how viable it would be to maintain any of the temperate subspecies other than Amur, like Persian?). Lastly, the taxonomic back-and-forth on the status of the mainland Asian tigers could play a role too?
     
  20. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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