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Bioparco di Roma(fan-made) masterplan

Discussion in 'Speculative Zoo Design and Planning' started by Mickey, 27 Sep 2021.

  1. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 Jun 2019
    Posts:
    679
    Location:
    Italy
    (If you don't care/are not interested about the history of the zoo skip untill you see the line "masterplan" in all capitals)

    Recently I've visited Bioparco di Roma, Rome's historical zoo, after roughly 10 years since my last visit and 4 years without visiting any zoo or aquarium.

    The zoo has a long history, founded back in 1911, it had and still has some rarities, and back in the days was one of the most important zoological facilities of Europe, surpassing even Paris and Berlin's zoos, which used an outdated habitat's architecture.

    The zoo still has some of its historical facilities in use, mostly renovated, others being "modernized" by re-touching only the indoor enclosures and leaving the outdoor as it was once; if you go around the park and take off your eyes from the animals for a second you'll notice that the old architecture still lives on, few examples are the Elephant House, the Reptilarium exit, the Coati's indoor enclosure front door, which has an antelope head made of marm (which made me suppose it was meant for another animal when it was first built), the Zebras' stables, the Giraffe's stables and so on.
    You can even see some ruins in the bears' trail, with rotting wooded doors still being where the entrance of the habitats were supposed to be

    It has to be said though that the zoo went under major renovations from 1994 to 1998 where the idea of "Biopark" was born.
    The vast majority of their reptilarium's collection is confiscated, same goes for their white bengal tiger Gladio and other animals, and just to let you know, they exhibit both Bengal and Sumatran Tiger.
    Their previously mentioned rarities are: Sumatran Tiger, Montecristo's Goat, Sardinian Newt, Himalayan Thar, Asiatic Lion, Persian Leopard, Dama Gazelle, Banteng, Addax and Kulan.


    MASTERPLAN

    As stated previously, the zoo went under major renovation, but work still needs to be done; here's a link to the zoo's map so you know where we are when we move around: Mappa del parco note that the "under construction" area is now the fully built and operational Sea Lion habitat.

    Our first stop is the Parrots and Armadillos' aviary, now, the space is quite enough for armadillos, but fairly small for the parrots, so what I would do is move the parrots to the Reptilarium aviary, which you can't see from the map since it's a very stylized version of the real thing, anyway just know that before you enter the proper Reptilarium there's a semi-dry lush savannah (as they describe it), with Rosate Spoonbills, Red Ibises and Aldabra Giant Tortoise sharing the same space and Radiated Tortoises confined in a little area of a greenhouse.

    Next up we got the Giraffe's house, quite old but still fully functional, they share the habitat with a Marabu Stork, which has access to a small pond outside the Giraffe's area. What I would personally do is move their Ostrich which is in the Zebra's former habitat, and put it with the Giraffes, since said Ostrich is alone and no, it's not with the zebras even if the map makes you think so, and move the zebras to the rhinos, leaving us with 2 empty, but unifiable habitats, and we'll get to these later.

    Next stop we got the Japanese Macaque's habitat, which is the circle between many other habitats: it's a quite literal concrete hole, it's the most outdated habitat of the zoo and it desperately needs to be fixed, first of all I would give the macaques an actual pool, not a puddle which they have on top of the habitat, also I would put some soil and grass in it since again it's almost all concrete, and plant some plants which the animals cannot eat to keep a little bit of green in it, as well as remodel the entire habitat to look more like a little rocky mountain and not an elevated piece of dirty concrete.

    Moving on we have 3 habitats which house Nile Lechwe, Dama Gazelle and Red River Hog, and I want to point out that the zoo has some very interesting mixed habitats, so I don't get why separate the african hoof stock which is the one that zoos mix the most; anyway, I would demolish the walls that separate these habitats and separate them with natural barriers, creating the illusion that it's them who don't want to mix with the others, so the big habitat, going from top to bottom on the map would be divided in: a semi-humid savannah with a pool for the Lechwes to bath in, with a wall of short unaccessible rocks and spiky plants dividing it from the dryish desert savannah, where the Dama Gazelle and Addax would stay, (leaving us again with another empty habitat, to which we'll return later) and a lower wet area for the Hogs, with logs on the top to prevent the gazelles from falling in: this way there's more space if any other hoof stock needs to be added.

    Next stop, which will be the shortest one, are the aviaries of the birds of prey; there's one aviary in particular which is divided in two, in one half we have the Mountain Caracara, and in the other half a Cockatoo, which doesn't make much sense, so I would move it to the reptilarium aviary and give the whole aviary to the caracaras.

    Moving much forward we have the flamingo habitat, which is just a cut area of the lagoon, so why even consider this part of the zoo?: because we're gonna give it to hippos and move the flamingos and put them with the other waterfowls; if you look at the elephant house on the map both the habitat and the house are really small compared to other zoos' standards, so what I would do is demolish the inner "Elephant Hall", which is the conference room of the park, to give the Elephant's more space, and link it to the now hippos enclosure, this way the could also finally welcome a bull.

    Over the Elephant's enclosure you can see there's four habitats, I call this "The Camelids Roundabout", because here you can see the Guanaco, the Bactrian Camel and the Kulan, which isn't a member of the family of camels, but 2 out of 3 is a good reason to give it a name; so, what we're gonna do is take the Guanacos and put them in what was the Addax enclosure, as well as their Vicuña, it's habitat is located over the exhibit with the silhouette of a tapir (which is a South America mixed habitat), that little space is for the Vicuña, which is gonna be moved with its cousins.
    Regarding the Kulan and Camels, we're gonna take them to the Bantengs' habitat: this habitat has a gate in the middle (I never understood the reason they made it since before it was for the Bantengs was a mixed savannah), so now this gate will separate the Bantengs from the Camels and the Kulan.
    This would be the new home of their African Wild Dog family, with some restoration and improvements it would the much needed new area of the pack.

    Now the only empty habitats are the Vicuña, the Zebra and the African Wild Dog: the Vicuña habitat could be renovated to make the home of a small animal since the enclosure itself is pretty small, maybe a Jaguarondi or a Kinkajou to keep the theme of South America in that zone, the Zebra enclosure could be used to house other hoof stock (although personally I would demolish the old stables and make a small aquarium, but maybe they don't want to let go remove their historical structures) and the Painted Dog enclosure could be used by another agile animal, preferably smaller than them, like a Jackal or any type of wild cat, perhaps a Coyote since there's a general lack of North American fauna in Italy.

    Thank you very much for taking the time to read my project, I hope you liked it.
     
  2. Nix

    Nix Well-Known Member

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    22 Nov 2020
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    Location:
    South Africa
    Very detailed and descriptive! Well done! :D
     
    Mickey likes this.
  3. tigris115

    tigris115 Well-Known Member 10+ year member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    New York, USA
    So far, not bad. Maybe try submitting this to them
     
  4. Mickey

    Mickey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 Jun 2019
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    679
    Location:
    Italy
    The Bioparco Foundation is directed by politicians, none of which have zoological basics or knowledge (and one even ashamed herself with non-scientific affirmations on a TV show) and it should be no surprise how messy the Italian political scene is, if I send this to them they'll answer me with "stay tuned for zoo's news by subscribing to our newsletter!"