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Best of Its Kind

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by pachyderm pro, 18 Nov 2016.

  1. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

    23 Aug 2016
    The City of Big Shoulders
    I'm sure the majority of members on hear want to construct a zoo at a point in there life, I am no exception. When making a zoo I try to take inspiration from other zoos. So that got me thinking. What are the best exhibits for each animal? That's the question I am asking you. What are the best of their kind animal enclosures for the following? Remember, this enclosure can be from any zoo or animal park across the globe.

    African elephant
    Asian elephant
    Nile hippo
    polar bear
    Komodo dragon

    I might ask more later. Feel free to choose other species as well.
  2. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

    13 Sep 2015
    QLD Australia
    You reckon the Asian Elephant exhibit at Melbourne Zoo is pretty spectacular.
  3. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

    12 Aug 2007
    I'll give it a go.......

    Gorilla - NY Bronx Congo forest
    Lion - Land of the lions ZSL
    African elephant - Cabareceno
    Asian elephant - Planckendael
    Tiger - HWP
    Nile hippo - San Diego zoo
    polar bear - HWP
    baboon - NY Bronx
    koala - Pairi Daiza
    panda - National zoo, Washington DC
    lemur - Let's say Jersey
    Komodo dragon - ZSL

    Maybe (or almost certainly) not the best, but perhaps a good starting point.
  4. Thatzookeeperguy

    Thatzookeeperguy Active Member

    16 Nov 2016
    Gorilla- Melbourne Zoo
    Lion- Werribee Open Range Zoo
    African elephant - Never Seen
    Asian elephant- Auckland Zoo
    Tiger- Hamilton Zoo or Night Safari
    Nile hippo- Werribee Open Range Zoo
    polar bear- Havent seen an enclosure I like yet
    baboon- Singapore Zoo
    koala - Healesville Sanctuary
    panda- River Safari ( only one Ive seen )
    lemur- Singapore Zoo or Melbourne Zoo
    Komodo dragon -Singapore Zoo
  5. PAT

    PAT Well-Known Member

    16 Jan 2008
    I've not visited a wide variety of zoos and don't want to include exhibits that I've not seen so this is not definitive and entirely subjective.

    Gorilla - Melbourne Zoo - Holds up really well after such a long time but would benefit from a cohesive, multi-generational group which they've just never been able to achieve.
    Lion - Werribee Zoo - I'm yet to see a lion exhibit that even comes close.
    African elephant - Dubbo Zoo - This wins be default, I've only seen African elephants once.
    Asian elephant - Melbourne Zoo - This surely doesn't come close to being the best exhibit for Asian elephants in the world but of the ones that I've seen it offers perhaps the largest space and flexibility.
    Tiger - Melbourne Zoo - It is a very beautiful exhibit. Honorable mention goes to Patan Central Zoo in Kathmandu though.
    Nile hippo - Werribee Zoo - If Berlin Zoo were in a warmer climate, their exhibit would win hands down but the fact that they have to spend winter indoors gives Werribee the edge.
    Polar bear - Rotterdam Zoo - The size isn't impressive but gets the edge over Berlin by having grass and underwater viewing.
    Baboon - Singapore Zoo - Such a large group is always going to be impressive but the exhibit is also exceptional so wins hands down.
    Koala - Phillip Island Koala Sanctuary - A controversial choice seeing as it's basically a fenced in section of forest with boardwalks up into the tree tops.
    Panda - Adelaide Zoo - Not a lot of competition but I quite liked the architecture and it seems quite large compared to exhibits I haven't had the chance to see.
    Lemur - Melbourne Zoo - This is the fourth category that Melbourne Zoo has won but these are four of it's flagship exhibits.
    Komodo dragon - London Zoo - I remember being quite surprised by this exhibit because I had done a lot of research before I visited (naturally) and had no idea that it existed.
    Thatzookeeperguy likes this.
  6. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

    19 Mar 2016
    São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    Hasn't Detroit Zoo a good Polar bear exhibit? I don't even know how it is, but if anyone knows please tell me!
  7. PAT

    PAT Well-Known Member

    16 Jan 2008
    @Thatzookeeperguy I noticed we had a lot of exhibits in common so either they really are the best of their kind or we both need to visit more zoos.
  8. Thatzookeeperguy

    Thatzookeeperguy Active Member

    16 Nov 2016
    I think the latter is true lol
  9. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member

    1 Nov 2013
    Chicago, USA
    I've only been to a couple of zoos, not nearly as many as most members, so I will focus my contrast between the zoos I've been to - Lincoln Park, Brookfield, Milwaukee, the National Zoo and debatably the Shedd Aquarium. The better zoos are ones I've not visited, so they're not being excluded intentionally.

    Lincoln Park Zoo has found a lot of strength in it's presentation of primates, beating out my other zoo experiences with gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons and snow monkeys. Some of the other primate exhibits are a little more diroama-style, but they maintain a good variety and the animals seem to do well. I also think their Children's Zoo offers some excellent habitats for beavers and otters. I have yet to see the new penguin and bear habitats.

    Brookfield excels at a variety of species, and while there's probably better bear exhibits out there, Great Bear Wilderness is certainly preferable to the older grottos at the other zoos mentioned. Wolf Woods is pretty famous on ZooChat for being such a good exhibit, even if the animals aren't active as often as they could be.

    Milwaukee is an older location that could use improvement in many areas, but many of it's more recent buildings are of decent to better quality. The Lions and Tigers have much more interesting habitats here than they do at the other two zoos above, with good indoor and outdoor viewing. I would also like to say I've always enjoyed the Humboldt Penguin habitat near the opening of the zoo.

    The Shedd Aquarium is the only aquarium I've been to, so they basically win by default.

    The National Zoo is the only of these with pandas or a permanent Komodo dragon exhibition, and I really enjoyed the former upon my lone visit.

    I'm reluctant to award for Elephants, Hippos, Baboons, Lemurs, or Koalas, three of which I've only seen at one location and two of which none of the zoos are particularly impressive with.
  10. GraysonDP

    GraysonDP Well-Known Member

    24 May 2015
    Washington DC
    Best I've Seen

    Gorilla- Bronx (Runner-up: Houston, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Dallas, San Diego, Busch Gardens)
    Lion- Columbus/San Diego Safari Park (Runner-up: Busch Gardens, Dallas)
    African Elephant- North Carolina/Dallas (Runner-up: Disney's Animal Kingdom, San Diego Safari Park)
    Asian Elephant- Dublin (Runner-up: National)
    Tiger- Bronx (Runner-up: Columbus, Dallas)
    Nile Hippopotamus- San Diego (Runner-up: Toledo, Busch Gardens, Disney's Animal Kingdom)
    Polar Bear- Detroit (Runner-up: Columbus, North Carolina)
    Baboon- Bronx (Runner-up: Toronto)
    Koala- San Diego (Runner-up: Columbus, Cleveland)
    Giant Panda- National (Runner-up: Atlanta, San Diego)
    Lemur- Bronx (Runner-Up: North Carolina, Atlanta, San Diego Safari Park)
    Komodo Dragon- Fort Worth/Columbus (Runner-up: Jacksonville, Disney's Animal Kingdom)

    Best I Haven't Seen

    Gorilla- Woodland Park (Runner-up: Kansas City, Sedgwick, Denver, Saint Louis, Louisville)
    Lion- Denver/Sedgwick/Kansas City/Omaha (Runner-up: Oregon, Caldwell, Woodland Park)
    African Elephant- Omaha/Sedgwick County (Runner-up: Reid Park, Birmingham, Fresno Chaffee, Cheyenne Mountain)
    Asian Elephant- Saint Louis/Oregon (Runner-up: Los Angeles, Denver, Oklahoma City, Zurich, Melbourne)
    Tiger- Minnesota, San Diego Safari Park (Runner-up: Virginia, Woodland Park, Cheyenne Mountain, Hogle)
    Nile Hippopotamus- Saint Louis/Memphis (Runner-up: Berlin, San Antonio)
    Polar Bear- Assiniboine Park (Runner-up: Hogle, Buffalo, Toronto)
    Koala- Taronga Zoo
    Giant Panda- Toronto
    Lemur- Omaha (Runner-up: Sedgwick, Woodland Park, Denver)
    Komodo Dragon- Phoenix
  11. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

    10 Feb 2012
    Land of the Lions at London Zoo?! You are joking surely.....? There are plenty of better lion exhibits in the UK, let alone Europe or the rest of the world! There must be plenty of better Komodo Dragon exhibits too( Colchester for a start).
  12. Loxodonta Cobra

    Loxodonta Cobra Well-Known Member

    1 Aug 2015
    West Hartford, CT, USA
    My Turn.

    Gorilla - Schmutzer Primate Center
    Lion - Givskud Zoo
    African Elephant - Dallas Zoo
    Asian Elephant - African Lion Safari Canada
    Tiger - Jacksonville Zoo
    Nile Hippopotamus - Berlin Zoo
    Polar Bear - Yorkshire Wildlife Park
    Baboon - Knowsley Safari Park
    Koala - San Diego Zoo
    Giant Panda - Everland Resort
    Lemur - Duke Lemur Center
    Komodo Dragon - ZSL London Zoo
  13. MagpieGoose

    MagpieGoose Well-Known Member

    29 Mar 2015
    Might aswell give it a go (Only of zoos I have actually been to and seen the exhibit)
    Gorilla: Dublin Zoo
    Lion: West Midland Safari Park
    African Elephant: Knowsley
    Asian Elephant: Dublin/Chester
    Tiger: ZSL London Zoo
    Common Hippo: Flamingo Land/WMSP
    Polar Bear: Yorkshire Wildlife Park
    Baboon: Yorkshire Wildlife Park
    Koala: Edinburgh
    Panda: Edinburgh
    Lemur: ZSL London Zoo
    Komodo Dragon: Chester Zoo
  14. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

    21 Aug 2014
    Best I've seen

    Gorilla -> San Diego Zoo
    Lion -> Basel
    African elephant -> none convincing enough
    Asian elephant -> Zurich // Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka
    Tiger -> Australia Zoo // San Diego (? my memory is blurry on both)
    Nile hippo -> San Diego Zoo (architectonically: Berlin)
    polar bear -> Vienna
    baboon -> Zurich (Gelada)
    koala -> animal rescue stations in Australia generally
    panda -> Chengdu Panda Base
    lemur -> Zurich (Masoala)
    Komodo dragon -> none convincing enough

    red panda -> Prague
    orang utan -> Singapore
    brown bear -> Arth Goldau // Skansen
    spectacled bear -> Zurich
    giant salamander -> Ueno
    eagle -> Prague
    mountain hoofstock -> Prague
    penguins -> Loro Parque
  15. natel12

    natel12 Well-Known Member

    29 Dec 2016
    Polar bear has to be Detroit zoo
    Gorilla is Bronx zoos Congo forest I believe it's called
    Giant panda should be national zoo, along with Asian elephants
    Nile hippo would either be San Diego Dallas or saint Louis
    Cleveland has a very nice koala exhibit but I haven't seen many koala exhibits
    Columbus or Cincinnati for African lion?
    For an African savannah exhibit it would have to be Columbus, also I believe they have the best bonobo exhibit also in my mine a top five tiger exhibit
    Sure you can disagree as this is my opinion but I haven't seen a gigantic number of zoos I probably am incorrect
  16. natel12

    natel12 Well-Known Member

    29 Dec 2016
    I'm going to get to see it this summer but look it up, it is fantastic!
  17. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

    10 Feb 2009
    Arizona, USA
    Gorilla - Bronx Zoo
    Lion - SD Safari Park
    African Elephant - North Carolina Zoo
    Tiger - Minnesota Zoo, SD Safari Park
    Giant Panda - Smithsonian National Zoo
  18. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

    23 Feb 2015
    United States
    Ones I've seen are in bold:

    Gorilla: Lincoln Park (Saint Louis runner-up, NY Bronx)
    African elephant: Indianapolis (Dallas)
    Asian elephant: Saint Louis (Smithsonian runner-up)
    Tiger: San Diego
    Nile Hippo: San Diego (Disney's Animal Kingdom)
    Polar Bear: Brookfield (Detroit)
    Baboon: Phoenix (NY Bronx)
    Koala: San Diego (Los Angeles runner-up)
    Panda: Smithsonian (I've also seen San Diego & Memphis, neither are even close)
    Lemur: Smithsonian (outdoor exhibit with waterfall) (San Francisco)
    Komodo Dragon: San Diego/Phoenix
    JVM likes this.