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DeYoung Family Zoo Birdsandbats' DeYoung Family Zoo Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by birdsandbats, 30 Aug 2018.

  1. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member 5+ year member

    17 Sep 2017
    DeYoung Family Zoo - Home

    Date of Visit: August 11 2018 (I think my fourth visit but I'm not sure)

    The DeYoung Family Zoo is non-AZA zoological facility that opened in 1990. It is located in Wallace, Michigan.

    This zoo is not organized in complexes. Instead, I will organize this review taxonomically.

    DeYoung Family Zoo is infamous for it's bad primate enclosures. While the worst of them is now gone, those that are left still aren't great. Most of them are small cages. Now, I am not to say "it's a cage so it's awful". In fact, I think cages are usually better for primates than the modern open-topped primate enclosures. But these are very small and dark.

    There seem to be three styles of primate enclosures here: tall cages, short dark cages, and corn crib pens.

    The short, dark cages don't have much climbing room and let very little light in. They are arguably the worst of them all. There are three of these enclosures: one for a Crab-Eating Macaque, one for a Pig-Tailed Macaque, and one for a Ring-Tailed Lemur.

    The tall cages are, as the name suggest, tall cages in the shape of a rectangular prism. They provide some climbing room and natural substrate, so they are the best primate enclosures here. Still not good though. There are three tall cages here: one for a troop of Olive Baboons, one for a troop of Ring-Tailed Lemurs, and one mixed-species exhibit for a Celebus Crested Macaque and an Olive Baboon.

    The corn crib pens are, well, corn crib cages. They have no natural substrate on the bottom, just concrete. There are two corn crib cages for primates: one for a pair of Japanese Macaques, and one mixed-species exhibit for several Colombian Spider Monkeys and a White-Throated Capuchin.

    All the primate enclosures are near the entrance.

    Most of the zoo's ungulates are domestic species, but the zoo has some more exotic species, too.

    The first ungulates seen would be in the petting area past the primates and the cavies. Here there is a basic but small paddock for a Domestic Donkey. There are also several below average sized yards for Domestic Goats.

    The next enclosure is in-between the large petting and the British Colombian Black Wolves. It is a below average sized enclosure for two Dromedaries. They could use a bit more room.

    Next there is a MASSIVE petting area with two enclosures. The first enclosure is crammed full with Domestic Cows, Domestic Goats, Domestic Sheep, and a few Emu. But the area is large enough that it still has room for all these animals. There is another ungulate yard right next to it, this one with less animals but about equal area. It has a few Domestic Cows, a Llama, and two zebroids: a Zonkey and a Zorse.

    Across the path from this large petting area is what might be the zoo's most popular attraction: Wallace the Common Hippopotamus. He gets a whole acre to himself. Does that make this the largest hippo exhibit in the country? The acre in includes a large pond and decent land area as well. But that's not why he is so popular. Twice a day, some keepers call him to the observation area. There, visitors can feed Wallace lettuce. It's a very cool experience.

    There are two more hoofed animal enclosures in the zoo, both deep in the woods. The White-Tailed Deer have a decent sized area across from the Binturongs. There is also an average Mouflon exhibit that is mixed-species with a flock of Chickens.

    There are two basic exhibits for rodents in this zoo, and both are not terrible but nothing special. The first is behind the primates and is an average exhibit for Patagonian Cavies. The other is near the badgers and contains several North American Porcupines.

    The first carnivore exhibit here can be seen without entering. Carnivores are scattered all over the zoo, and are among the last things you see before you leave. Carnivores also get better enclosures on average than the other animals here. I think there might be some bias. But still, (most of) the carnivore enclosures are quite nice.

    The first carnivore enclosure seen may be seen from the parking lot: a large enclosure for Eurasian Brown Bears. There is also a near identical exhibit for the same species next. After these two exhibits, however, is a much smaller exhibit that is very inadequate. However, it contained some recently rescued animals, so I am guessing it is temporary. All three contained a pool. The first two are AZA level in quality.

    There are four Tiger exhibits scattered around the zoo. These exhibits are large, spacious, and lush, and contain a pool. These are better than some AZA Tiger enclosures. The first of these enclosures contains Siberian Tigers. The second contains Malayan (signed as Indochinese) Tigers. The other two have Generic (Bengal) Tigers.

    There are also two Lion exhibits, each containing "Barbary" Lions. The first one is similar to the Tiger exhibits and better than some AZA Lion exhibits. The other is very small. It was connected to the main enclosure, so I hope it is used just as a holding cage.

    The final big cat exhibit is disappointing. It is near the primates and equal in quality to them. It contains a single black Leopard.

    In the forest-y part of the zoo, there is a large enclosure for some American Black Bears. It is better than what I have seen at some AZA-zoos. This exhibit provided the answer for the age old question: "Does a bear poop in the woods?"

    In-between one of the Bengal Tiger exhibits and one of the Spotted Hyenas is an average exhibit for South American Coatis. It had lots of climbing opportunities, but not as much room as other carnivore enclosures.

    I was surprised at the amount of area devoted to hyenas at this zoo. It's not a very popular animal, so most visitors don't usually care about hyenas. But DeYoung has four exhibits for them! That's fine with me, I like hyenas. The two exhibits for adult Spotted Hyenas are average in size. Near the primates, there is an exhibit for a baby Spotted Hyena. The exhibit was mostly barren but contained a house and toys. But the pup (cub?) was fine with it being barren. It was more room to play with her squeaky toys. The final exhibit isn't even open yet. When it does, it will contain Striped Hyenas.

    There are many canine exhibits here as well, including a whopping 7 exhibits just for Gray Wolves! Tundra Wolves have a below-average grassy enclosure, British Colombian Black Wolves get a large forested area, Timber Wolves get an average-sized forested area with a pond. The zoo has two packs of Dingoes, with one getting an average enclosure and the other getting below average. The two packs of New Guinea Singing Dogs get near identical enclosures.

    Two separate groups of Coyotes get two different exhibits. One of the packs get an average-sized forested yard. The other gets a too-small corn crib cage.

    Red Foxes get an average-sized exhibit in the forest-y part of the zoo.

    American Badgers get an average sized enclosure next to the porcupines. it has lots of digging room and some climbing rocks.

    Northern Raccoons get a tall enclosure across the path from the Timber Wolves. They get lots of climbing room and hiding places.

    The last carnivore exhibit is an average enclosure containing two Binturongs.

    There are few animals here other than mammals, and most of the non-mammal animals are birds. Almost all the birds at DeYoung Family Zoo are allowed to free roam. The exceptions are the Domestic Turkeys, some of the Chickens, and the Emu.

    The Domestic Turkey exhibit is the best I have ever seen. These birds get a large forested area similar in size to the Tiger exhibits. Yes, you read that right.

    While some Domestic Chickens are allowed to roam freely around the zoo, most are in enclosures. There is a small coop of bantams near the donkeys. Some chickens may be found in the goat yards around the Donkeys. Some Chickens are in a mixed-species exhibit with the Mouflon.

    Several Emu live in the massive petting yard.

    Birds owned by the zoo that are allowed to roam the zoo freely are: Mute Swan, Domestic Greylag Goose, Domestic Swan Goose, and Domestic Pigeon.

    There are only two species of reptiles in the zoo. The first is a Central Bearded Dragon, which may be seen in the entrance building.

    The second reptile exhibit is a large American Alligator pond which is my favorite American Alligator pond I have seen. The exhibit has land area around the edges, then an "O" shaped pond with an island in the middle. It is always filled with duckweed and captures the natural habitat of the species very well.

    Overall, I really enjoy DeYoung Family Zoo. I don't deny it has many flaws, but it is one of the more enjoyable "Roadside zoos". I love the cool unique experiences like hippo feeding and Hayden's Howlers, and look forward to the zoo's future. Supposedly, there are plans for a new primate complex, and possibly a safari park.

    Best Alligator Pond

    Most Infamous Primate Complex

    Most Mixed Bag

    Most Enclosures Devoted To Canis lupus

    Most Area Devoted To Hyenas

    Most Chicken Enclosures In A Zoo

    Best Short Running TV Show
  2. Jake

    Jake Well-Known Member

    21 Jun 2018
    Jimboomba Qld
    Thanks for the review ;)