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'Big 5'

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by ChunkyMunky pengopus, 5 Jan 2021.

  1. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    What 5 zoos do you consider to be the 'big 5', whether worldwide or within a specific region. By 'big 5', I mean, as the name implies, which 5 are the most prominent/major institutions. For example, within fast food restaurants, it's probably undeniable that Mcdonalds is part of the 'big 5', but after that, who is next? Burger king, Subway, maybe? There is an element of subjectivity to this, but it should be a consensus about which 5 are the most popular.

    For example, in the US, the 'big 5' are probably San Diego, Omaha, and the Bronx, but what comes after that? Cincinnati and Denver maybe?
     
  2. ZooBinh

    ZooBinh Well-Known Member

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    For the US as a whole, probably not Cincinnati :p...but San Diego, Bronx, Omaha definitely. The last two spots can go to an array of arguably top-tier zoos, such as Miami, Dallas, St. Louis...a hard decision...if you were to add aquariums in the mix maybe the big three could have spots (Georgia, Shedd, Monterey)?

    For maybe a region I'd know a bit better, the Midwest...I'd put the 'big 5' at St. Louis, Detroit, Cincinnati, Brookfield (maybe Minnesota? Purely based off of some of their rarities), and Columbus (though including aquariums I'd replace Columbus with Shedd). Within my state, Ohio, an obvious 'big 5' list would include Cincinnati, Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, and either Akron or The Wilds.
     
  3. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I think that it is such a subjective question and each person will have their own preference and "big 5" and it depends on what criteria the five institutions are being judged by.

    Is this being judged on the aesthetics ? conservation output ? size of the site ? diversity of species kept ? organizational culture ?
     
  4. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    I mostly agree, however for the Midwest, most consider Omaha, Kansas city, and even Tulsa to be a part of it.
    If we were to expand the US list, then the 'big 10' might be San Diego, Bronx, Omaha, St. Louis, Dallas, Denver, Columbus, Houston, and Miami, with Pittsburgh, Toledo, and Cincinnati vying for that 9th spot?
    I notice the zoos in the central part of the country tend to get left out, such as Oklahoma city, Wichita, and Tulsa, but if you are talking about a "big 5" then perhaps it should stay that way, as being left out doesn't really indicate a 'big' presence.

    Regarding aquariums, I would say the 'big 5' are probably Shedd, Georgia, and Monterey, followed by perhaps Aquarium of the Pacific and the National aquarium?
     
  5. ChunkyMunky pengopus

    ChunkyMunky pengopus Well-Known Member

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    I think that 'Big 5' should mean the ones that have the biggest impact/ widespread awareness. This is something that a consensus could be reached apon, such as the prominence of San Diego, Omaha, Shedd, Georgia aquarium, and Monterey aquarium. It may not be your personal favorite, but there is no denying their prominence. Perhaps 'most prominent 5' is a more appropriate name...
     
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  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Yes but again you need to define what the "impact" actually is.

    Is the impact on raising awareness in terms of conservation education ?

    Or is the impact in terms of contributions to in-situ conservation or ex-situ conservation ?
     
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  7. ZooBinh

    ZooBinh Well-Known Member

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    My mistake, on accord that I forgot that Omaha and Kansas were in the Midwest! I'd consider Omaha definitely, not Kansas, and not Tulsa as it's not in a Midwest state (Oklahoma).

    Revised list would include; Omaha, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Shedd (if you count aquariums, if not then either Columbus or Detroit), and Brookfield, for me personally.
    Expanding the list yet would not add Pittsburgh, Toledo, Columbus, Cincinnati or Denver. If I were to expand this (subjectively), then I'd include : Bronx, San Diego, Omaha, St. Louis, Dallas, Georgia Aquarium, Shedd, Monterey Bay Aquarium (including aquarims), either Cincinnati or Brookfield (for historical reasons possibly), and Smithsonian? With a lot of zoos being about even with each other in quality, it's hard to choose "top #" zoos, especially when a deciding factor could possibly be just popularity.
     
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  8. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    If you ever visit Minnesota on a snowy winter day you would easily place it in the top 5.
     
  9. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    Going there tomorrow. Finally some pictures with my camera of different animals other than the animals in my backyard.

    EDIT: Okay, Never mind. The Tickets are all sold out. GREAT.JUST, GREAT. :mad:
     
    Last edited: 5 Jan 2021
  10. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    The tricky one with this is that "Big Five" does not necessarily mean the BEST FIVE :p

    So were I to construct a list of the Big Five for the UK, it would definitely not be the same as a list of the Best Five..... ditto for Europe as a whole.

    At a general guess, I would assume the Big Five for the UK would be (in no particular order):

    London
    Bristol
    Chester
    Jersey
    Edinburgh


    .....of which I think only two would be liable to merit a place in a UK Best Five.

    Similarly, the Big Five in Europe as a whole would possibly be:

    Zoo Berlin
    Prague
    London
    Chester
    Pairi Daiza


    ...which again would definitely not match a European Best Five.
     
  11. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Sounds kinda wierd when you say it that way! ;)
     
  12. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    You know what I mean. Ill edit.
     
    Last edited: 5 Jan 2021
  13. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    A big 5 for Canada isn't too hard (helps that there isn't a whole lot to choose from) - Toronto, Calgary, African Lion Safari, Zoo de Granby and Vancouver Aquarium are the 5 that I'd pick. I considered Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Felicien as it looks like an amazing zoo, but it's just so infrequently visited that I couldn't include it.

    A big 5 for the US is a lot trickier - Bronx, San Diego and Omaha are the obvious 3 but after that it really just comes down to preference. My personal favourite 2 are Detroit and Dallas with San Diego Safari Park close behind; if you lean towards historical significance then Cincinnati and Philadelphia could factor in; zoos I haven't visited but could definietly see being in a big 5: St. Louis, Woodland Park, Denver, Miami and Oklahoma.
     
  14. RatioTile

    RatioTile Well-Known Member

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    In my opinion the big 5 Japanese aquariums are Osaka Kaiyukan, Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Tokyo Sea Life Park, Toba Aquarium, and Aquamarine Fukushima.

    For zoos, I’d say Ueno Zoo, Tama Zoo, Higashiyama Zoo, Asa Zoo, and Yokohama Zoorasia.
     
  15. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    Tricky indeed. I would definitely say Woodland Park is a contender, having visited. Dallas and Miami are good too.
     
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  16. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    Agree with the 4 inclusion for aquarium, but maybe Nagoya Port Aquarium for Aquamarine Fukushima?
    For zoos, I too agree with the 4, I don't know much about Asa Zoo, but maybe Saitama? They recently join WAZA and get a lot of cool species. Or maybe Adventure World with their safari and pandas.
     
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  17. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    What about a world top five? I think zoos should be considered separately from aquariums. Of course I haven't been to zoos all over the world, but here's a random selection based on reputation, history, conservation ethic, collection and what little I know from this site. In no particular order:

    Singapore Zoo
    San Diego Zoo
    Bronx Zoo
    Vienna (Schonbrunn) Zoo
    Berlin Zoo
     
  18. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member

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    There is more or less a consensus here, when it comes to the Europe, North America or Australia top zoos. May be some of the globetrotters can give their opinion about the Asia, Africa and South America's top 5 ?
     
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  19. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    I think I absolutely agree with you on this one. I might be inclined to suggest a slightly less UK-centric Big Five, especially London (?) but then again this is more based off of popularity than anything else so I think you are pretty much spot on, and same goes for the UK Big Five. I assume by the 2 you think merit a place in the top 5 in reality you mean Edinburgh and Chester?

    My European Big 5 would replace London with Vienna but other than that exactly the same, and then my UK Big 5 would be identical.

    I agree with the first three certainly, but the 'Big 2' European zoos (in this case as we have to narrow it down to 2) would probably not include Vienna, much as I love the place. Narrowing down such a wide variety and great number of zoos down to two is an arduous task and one without really a right answer, but I'd say generating a Big 2 in terms of reputation etc. as seems to be the trend on this thread could well be easier, and dare I say it, more objective.

    For my world Big 5, I'd probably say Singapore, SDZ, Bronx, Berlin and Chester/Prague.

    I think actually ranking the top 5 zoos in Europe is a very difficult task and there will never be any settlement that everyone will agree with - some will favour Zurich's style of aesthetically-beautiful exhibits which reproduce the animals' natural environment closely, and some will prefer Berlin or Plzen, where less emphasis perhaps is placed on animal welfare and more on species? An impossible question to answer, it would seem. Is it easier in the US?
     
  20. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    So here's my Big 5 for East Asia and South East Asia.

    Singapore Zoo, Jurong Bird Park, Night Safari, River Safari, S.E.A Aquarium


    Seriously though, here's my big 5:
    Singapore Zoo*
    Ueno Zoo
    Taipei Zoo
    Khao Kheow
    Taiping Zoo (?)

    * I avoid having 2 facilities in the same institution, so Jurong is not in.

    Honourable mention: Chimelong Group, Yokohama Zoorasia, Beijing Zoo and Taman Safari(s)