Join our zoo community

Britain & Ireland's most innovative/exciting zoo exhibits

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by sarahm, 14 Aug 2015.

  1. sarahm

    sarahm New Member

    Joined:
    14 Aug 2015
    Posts:
    1
    Location:
    Bristol
    Hi everyone

    Hope you can help. I'm a journalist trying to find out which are the most exciting and innovative zoo exhibits in Britain and Ireland.

    As resources and time don't allow me to visit them all for myself (sadly!), I'm relying on websites and press officers at the moment, but what i really need is some subjective opinions.

    So far I've uncovered things like: In with the Spiders at ZSL London; Islands at Chester; cheetahs at Wild Place; chimps at Edinburgh, the Bat Island at Durrell Wildlife Park (which deserves inclusion for its focus on sustainability); gentoos at The Deep, Sealion cove at Dublin, lions at Folly Farm and the diving tufted ducks at the Lakes Aquarium.

    Anything else come to mind? obviously, I can't attempt to cover everything, but let me know if there's anything really special that's missing.

    Would be really grateful for any input! Thanks all!
     
  2. Waddi

    Waddi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    21 Nov 2009
    Posts:
    354
    Location:
    Wirral
    "Seal and penguin coast" at Bristol Zoo
    The snow Leopard enclosure at Lakeland Wildlife Oasis has a Plexiglas tunnel that leads straight through the middle of the enclosure.
     
  3. Shirokuma

    Shirokuma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    1 Sep 2009
    Posts:
    1,714
    Location:
    Europe
    I would add the polar bears at Highland Wildlife Park. Innovative in the lack of heavy fencing and in having two enclosures - one for males and another quite separate for female.
     
  4. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 May 2011
    Posts:
    1,678
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    The whole aviary section at Living Coasts is extremely well done and Auk Cliffs is a very impessive exhibit in itself. It features underwater viewing and has some very unusual species in there!
     
  5. zooman64

    zooman64 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    252
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, U.K.
    Shirokuma mentions the Polar bear exhibit at Highland Wildlife Park. I haven't seen this yet, though I have heard it's very good, but I was extremely impressed with the Polar Bear exhibit at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Many of the other enclosures at YWP are also of a very high standard, particularly those for lions, leopards (arguably the best in a UK zoo), tigers and Guinea baboons.
     
  6. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    3,776
    Location:
    South Devon
    The suggestions so far have all been new or relatively new exhibits. But I think that some of the best exhibits in British zoos have been developed by imaginative redevelopment of older enclosures. For example Chester's elephant house has been on the same site for over 40 years, but has been extended and entirely renovated in that time.
    I would suggest that the redeveloped gorilla house at Bristol is novel, because the gorillas can walk over the glass roof of the public space. It is also interesting as the house was originally built in 1872 for giraffes and is a Grade II listed building.
    One of the nicest areas of any British zoo is the walled garden at Cotswold wildlife park, which was originally laid out when the park opened over 40 years ago. The aviaries and enclosures have been progressively upgraded since that time and I believe that the large walk-through aviary is being refurbished now and is due to reopen soon. The large Madagascar walk-through at CWP is another very fine exhibit which is unusual because it houses a number of lemur species with Malagasy birds and tortoises. It was opened about 6 years ago.
    I have not seen Edinburgh's penguin pool since it was refurbished, but I like it because it is large enough for the penguins to 'porpoise' as they swim along it, the same is true of London's new penguin pool.

    Alan
     
  7. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2009
    Posts:
    5,563
    Location:
    Arizona, USA
    I am surprised no one is mentioning Islands at Chester Zoo. Do those of you who have seen it think it belongs here?
     
  8. savethelephant

    savethelephant Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Jan 2015
    Posts:
    1,207
    Location:
    New York
    sarahm already mentioned it

     
  9. foz

    foz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    14 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    1,407
    Location:
    England
    I would add not just spiders ZSL London but the whole of BUGS, which is probably my favourite zoo exhibit in the whole of the UK. Nowhere else does a zoo exhibit try to include so many themes and so many ideas in one exhibit. Its basically an encyclopedia in zoo form
     
  10. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    16 May 2014
    Posts:
    1,987
    Location:
    Warsaw, Poland
    I haven't been to so many UK zoos, but of the 28 that I have been to, I would agree that B.U.G.S at London is the most innovative or exciting zoo exhibit.
     
  11. Pootle

    Pootle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    2 Feb 2010
    Posts:
    776
    Location:
    Lancashire, UK
    I would describe Islands as an extension of the zoo with several exhibits within rather than a exhibit itself. These exhibits still need time (and animals :p) to develop into the finished article.

    In time, yes some of these exhibits will be very good indeed.
     
  12. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    1,919
    Location:
    England
    I have to say that I am surprised by the suggestions for BUGS! I suppose it depends where your interests lie, but personally, I think many of the tanks are very basic and there are quite a few species that can be seen elsewhere in the zoo. Innovative or exciting? Not for me! Even when compared just to other London Zoo exhibits!
    That's not to say anyone who likes it is wrong though!
     
  13. Devi

    Devi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    27 Oct 2009
    Posts:
    372
    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    What about the sealions at Longleat? Can't think of another place in the UK where you can go boating on an animals enclosure.
     
  14. wibbs

    wibbs Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    4 Sep 2008
    Posts:
    52
    Location:
    united kingdom
    you can also add the hippos aswell as the sealions at longleat too
     
  15. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Apr 2008
    Posts:
    1,136
    Location:
    sw england
    I would be interested to know which UK zoos have the innovative exhibits for the modern ABC zoo animals: lemurs, SC otters, meerkats, raccoons, coatis, marmosets etc. We see them time and time again but which zoos think outside the box with displaying the common species that the public like to see?