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Can you list your 9 most favourite zoos and why?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Nikola Chavkosk, 29 May 2016.

  1. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Although never visited these zoos, the next 9 zoos (I most commonly choose to end with numebr 9 since it is natural (numerological) end and single number with highest value), are my most favourite zoos because they impressed me the most (seeing their pictures, videos, and reading infos about them), and listed are some reasons why they are my favourites:

    1. Madrid zoo & aquarium: nice and tidy zoo, excelent climate, holds koalas in Spain!

    2. San Diego zoo & San Diego Safari Animal park: big zoos, a lot of taxa kept, nicely cared after animals, excelent climate

    3. Chester zoo: nice and tidy, black rhinos (5-10 individuals?)

    4. White Oak Conservation centre: great vast facility, with many okapis and trees

    5. Australia zoo: Steve Irwin, famous zoo on TV, Australian native animals

    6. Taman Safaris: Exotic, collaborating with ''Western zoos'', Javan leopards, and many Indonesian endemic animals

    7. Houston zoo: sounds great and exotic, spectacled bears, a lot of New World monkeys (are there black rhinos?) (placed instead of Dallas zoo!)

    8. Beauval zoo (France): looks very nice and tidy, exotic french style? with a lot of highly charizmatic zoo animals kept, like okapis and giant pandas

    9. Los Angeles zoo: excelent climate, many zoo animals cared after well

    I needed some 25 minutes to decide, but first two were for sure.

    What are your 9? :)
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2016
  2. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    You shouldn't group the two San Diego parks together. They are nothing like each other (I went to both).

    As for Dallas: it only has five species of new world monkey (Central American spider, white faced saki, Bolivian gray titi, golden lion tamarin, and cotton top tamarin). I haven't seen the sakis for several visits, and am not even sure if they're still there. There aren't spectacled bears (or any bears actually- the plans for sloth bears changed), did you perhaps mean spectacled langurs? There are also five species of old world monkey, with three ape species in addition. There haven't been black rhinos for a while. The planned rhinos will be southern white.
     
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Oh thank you, I mistaked it (Dallas) with Houston zoo (now I remember seeing on net spectacled bear in Houston). I will put it in the place on Dallas zoo and Aquarium.

    Why you say that San Diego Zoo and SDSAP are nothing like each other, aren't they managed by the same institution?
     
  4. jayjds2

    jayjds2 Well-Known Member

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    They are managed by the same organization (San Diego Zoo Global). However, that doesn't mean they are anything alike (for example, the Dallas Zoo and the Children's Aquarium at Fair Park are managed by the same organization- the Dallas Zoological Society- but they are nothing alike, either). The Zoo feels really cramped, but it has a traditional zoo feel. The Park is expansive, with a more theme-park feel to it. There are different safaris, a bird show, lorikeet feeding, a walk-thru lemur exhibit, and most of the habitats are better.

    The Houston Zoo doesn't have black rhinos, either. :p
     
  5. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you again. I imagined San Diego Zoo and SDSAP as one, and the former being like ''jungle-part'' (with reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates sections) of the themed park (who mostly keep mammals and birds) :eek: :p - but knew it that they are completely sepparate zoos.
     
  6. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    Off the top of my head without thinking too long about it (and listing only zoos I have personally visited)...

    1. Le Parc Des Felins. Largest variety of wild cat species in the world (by far) and huge, natural enclosures. All set in an existing forest estate in the French countryside.

    2. Northwest Trek. A stunning beautiful forest with massive areas for native animals.

    3. Project Survival's Cat Haven. Though it is small and the enclosures are average, they have one of the best cat collections in the USA. But what ranks it so highly is the owner gives more to conservation, both his own time and financial support, than just about any other zoological institution (relative to the size and income of the organization).

    4. Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. My home town zoo has been a leader in natural zoo design for decades. But what makes is so great is they offer more to do than a conventional zoo, with a cactus garden, art gallery, fantastic café, and stunning views of the surrounding desert.

    5. San Diego Safari Park. A favorite of mine since it opened in 1972 (and yes I visited the first summer they opened). Love the open air feel, though the safari plains are not as good as they were when the monorail was there. However they make up for it with the somewhat newer lion and cheetah areas plus the amazing new tiger area. I could spend all day just at tigers.

    6. Highland Wildlife Park. I went on a drizzly early spring day a few years ago, with snow on the peaks across the way and it was great! Love the scenery, the massive views of deer in the Highlands, plus the walk through with Scottish wildcats and Siberian tigers. Now that they have added snow leopard I think I would like it even more.

    7. Bronx Zoo. An American favorite since it opened. I only went once years ago but would love to go back now that they have Tiger Mountain.

    8. Dallas Zoo. The newer African side of the zoo is great all around with no weak spots, from the older monorail to the outstanding newer Giants of the Savanna. The older side of the zoo has a top notch tiger exhibit.

    9. San Diego Zoo. This one is all about variety and the lush grounds (from a century of plant collections) adds to the attraction. Crowds in summer make it somewhat less appealing and a reason to rank it lower than some of the others.
     
  7. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Here are my nine and they are only places that I have visited, I think Zurich and Arnhem amongst others would also be high on the list if I visited them.

    All of these are based on a mixture of factors such as the quality of exhibits, animal collections - diversity and rarities, the location and grounds, any particularly good exhibits, and how much I enjoyed visiting them.


    1. Weltvogelpark Walsrode - Some pretty good exhibits, mostly very good for the animals, nice grounds, and of course the astonishing bird collection.
    2. Prague Zoo (extremely difficult to decide whether Plzen or Prague is better) - really nice grounds, mostly very nice enclosures, quite a few rarities, a few particularly interesting exhibits, and I generally enjoyed visiting it.
    3. Plzen Zoo - amazingly diverse collection with lots of rarities, very friendly staff who allowed me to see the off show area, most enclosures fairly good but not to the standard of Prague, quite nice gardens.
    4. Zoo Berlin (including aquarium) - again a fantastic collection which is particularly good for birds, a few nice exhibits (eg. hippos, aquarium) but some enclosures not brilliant.
    5. Tierpark Berlin - huge and diverse collection with many rarities, very nice grounds, a few nice enclosures, however many sub-standard ones too
    6. Leipzig Zoo - a few rarities (eg. pangolin) and quite good overall. Pushed up to be much higher by Gondwanaland
    7. Wroclaw Zoo - Afrykarium is really great, quite a few rarities such as in the reptile house, a few generally nice enclosures and sections, though some enclosures that aren't great.
    8. Tiergarten Schonbrunn (Vienna) - enclosures all generally good, some interesting zoo history, quite nice grounds, a few nice exhibits, a few rarities, though not as many as any of the above collections
    9. Poznan Nowe Zoo (very difficult to say whether I preferred Poznan or Antwerp, I have gone for Poznan but I could go either way) - a few rarities, really nice grounds, generally good enclosures
     
  8. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    1. The Bronx Zoo: The Great American Zoo
    2. Nuremberg Zoo: A very nice collection
    3. Gangelt Wildpark: A fine example of the wonderful archipelago of German Wildparks
    4. Dallas Zoo: The African Collection is pretty good.
    5. Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch: Nice Collection...beautiful location
    6. Antwerp Zoo: Historic...beautiful location
    7. San Antonio Zoo: the most European American Zoo. Great bird collection.
    8. Plackendale Zoo: Antwerp's suburban cousin. Nice enclosures and a very diverse collection.
    9. Safari Beekse Bergan: Nicely laid out. Large enclosures. Great collection of large mammals.

    There is my nine. Tama Zoo and Seoul Grand Park both have good collections. I would love to visit the Singapore Zoos. Highland Wildlife Park in the UK sounds great. Miami, St Louis, the San Diego Zoos, and Northwest Trek are the American Zoos I expect will someday be on this list. The we have The Living Desert, Denver, Houston, Tampa, and Brownsville. I'm intrigued by the State run zoo in West Virginia that exhibits native wildlife (including those no longer present in the state).
    Just about any large German or Dutch Zoo is worth a visit.

    Oklahoma Zoo in the 1990's and The Catskill Game Farm in the early 1980's had great collections.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2016
  9. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Why you wrote that, why it is the most European American zoo, Pleistohorse, can you explain a bit?
     
  10. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    The San Antonio Zoo reminds me very much of the Zoos in Antwerp and Frankfurt. The zoo is about 100 years old and was built in an old quarry on the north side of Breckenridge Park just north of downtown.

    The zoo has to be creative with the available space. The enclosures, the plazas, even the collection (circa 30 years ago at least) reminds me the basic design and layout of the classic zoological gardens of Europe.

    It takes a beating sometimes here on ZooChat, but I have a real affection for the San Antonio Zoo and it's classic ambiance.
     
  11. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all, Arizona Docent, LaughingDove, Pleistohorse, very interesting views and explanations.
     
  12. zoomaniac

    zoomaniac Well-Known Member

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    And here are mine. Because it was so hard to decide, it brought them up to 12 (just cut off the last 3 if you want):
    1. Zoo Berlin
    2. Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde
    3. Zoo Leipzig
    4. Zoo Zürich (Zurich)
    5. Tiergarten Schönbrunn Wien (Vienna)
    6. Zoo Rotterdam
    7. San Diego Zoo
    8. San Diego Safari Park AT THE TIME IT WAS San Diego Wild Animal Park
    9. Singapore Zoo
    10. Bronx Zoo New York
    11. Night Safari Singapore
    12. Zoo de Beauval

    Close by: Dallas Zoo, Bioparc Valencia, Zoo Köln (Cologne), Tierpark Hagenbeck Hamburg, Zoo Copenhagen, Prague Zoo, Burgers Zoo Arnhem, Zoo Miami and Metro Toronto Zoo (at the time where it has had Elephants AND Giant Pandas).

    There are many reasons for each of them, but to make it short: All of them reflect my
    imagination of an exotic paradise, lush, with a diverse collection and many highlights in rarities as well as in uncommon exhibitry and sometimes with a touch of history.

    To be honest, I don't believe that my list will stay forever. New exhibits could change my decision (and I also might forgot a zoo and have not seen all of the "famous/important" once in the world too).
     
  13. MagpieGoose

    MagpieGoose Well-Known Member

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    This list is based on zoos I've visited

    1. Chester Zoo- Local zoo and great collection of animals

    2. Marwell Wildlife Park- Nice enclosures and well laid out

    3. ZSL London Zoo- Don't know why but just love the setting and collection

    4. Cotswold WP- Lovely place to walk around and take in the miles of countryside

    5. Banham Zoo- Lovely atmosphere around the place and has some really good enclosures

    6. Twycross Zoo- Mainly for my love of apes

    7. ZSL Whipsnade Zoo- Love the countryside setting and the Asian Elephats

    8. Exmoor Zoo- because of some of the rare species

    9. Colchester Zoo- Good enclosures and enjoyable to visit
     
  14. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    It's hard to decide yes.
    I think the name San Diego Wild Animal Park was better than the current name.
    I share your opinion too, my favourite zoos can change with time, owning to development of new ideas/zoos, or because of discovering not well-known zoos.

    It seems that Zurich zoo is more exciting than Basel zoo? I am going to visit Basel zoo on June 8th this year but seems that it's nothing spectacular (at least what I have read till now on Zoochat, am I wrong?)
     
  15. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    I love how London zoo is creating enclosureS design, the enclosures are just like pieces taken from the wild.

    Love one picture that I saw from ZSL Whipsnade zoo on wich was an Asian elephant on the green hill.
     
  16. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    My list also only contains zoos I've visited ( and 2 at which I even have worked ;) ):
    1) Pairi Daiza, not named sofar but IMO the best zoo I've been. At the time I helped to build it up it was just a good bird-collection ( with some other animals ) in a nice setting. now it is a world-class zoo which add spectaculair exhibits and animals every year !
    2) Weltvogelpark Walsrode, was already world-class at the time I worked there and it still is.
    3) Zoo Prague, great collection, great setting, real nice modern buildings.
    4) Blijdorp - Rotterdam Zoo, same as Prague and the few old building have been modernized at the inside so the animals are kept in the proper way
    5) Safaripark Beekse Bergen, nice setting very large enclosures and a good collection of large animals
    6) Burgers Zoo - Arnhem some part somewhat out-dated but this is in no contrast to the world-class Bush, Ocean and Desert halls !
    7) Hagenbeck - Hamburg, old zoo with lots of history,nice collection and some modern new parts - Polar area and tropical house
    8) Duisburg Zoo, nice collection ( althrough it has been better ) and nice lau-out
    9) Antwerp Zoo, old historic zoo with very nice collection and much re-newing at the moment
    From the conservation-sight I actualy must mention Durrell but because I only wanted to include zoos I've visited myself this one has to wait untill I have been there.
     
  17. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    I definitively will visit Prague zoo in near future (maybe in the summer fall), after all these good comments about it.

    Pairi Daiza yes, they now have koalas imported from Australia, I can purchase cheap (about 50 euros - two way ticket!) airplane flights tickets to Brussels, and to Eindhoven in Netherlands; which zoo is close to Eindhoven and worth of visiting?
     
  18. HJoe

    HJoe Member

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    I haven't actually visited too many zoos yet, no less those that I'd consider favorites (and all are restricted to the eastern US), so my list(s) might be a little unorthodox. (Also note that this based on personal taste, not trying to be objective with these rankings.)

    1. North Carolina Zoo - The best large mammal exhibitry I've seen, lush and extremely spacious in most cases. Only faults are a lack of species/geographical variety and the blister-inducing amount of walking!
    2. Busch Gardens in Tampa - Mostly fantastic exhibitry, highlights being the hippo's underwater viewing, chimp & gorilla exhibits, and hyena/lion rotation exhibits.
    3. Tennessee Aquarium - Phenomenal freshwater exhibits with a staggering species variety; the Appalachian Forest and Mississippi Delta indoor halls are wonderfully atmospheric. Slight bias for some great experiences here as a child.
    4. National Aquarium in Baltimore - Most everything here is top notch, especially the indoor rainforest and Australia exhibit, alongside a bevvy of excellent, museum diorama-like aquaria & terraria.
    5. Disney's Animal Kingdom - Kilimanjaro Safari! Maharajah Jungle Trek is also fantastic. I wish there was a bit more variety in the exhibits aside from those two but I understand it's just as much a theme park.
    6. Georgia Aquarium - Most of it is pretty mediocre, more style than substance, but the Ocean Voyager exhibit alone is worth it. Living less than an hour away from it, much of the aquarium has lost its luster but those whale sharks and manta rays are still magical.
    7. National Zoo (Smithsonian) - Fantastic collection of birds, including a kiwi! The Asian Trail exhibits are also very nice. Solid all around, but not quite as amazing as the next-door Natural History Museum.
    8. Atlanta Zoo - My local zoo. Nothing really special, but nice all around, and I retain a fondness for it. Current highlights include raccoon dogs, bush dogs, a great gorilla enclosure always full of active apes, and a nice reptile collection (have yet to see the newly remodeled reptile house, though).
    9. Montgomery Zoo - One of my two childhood zoos, the other being the mostly subpar Birmingham Zoo. Montgomery is all-around up to standards with a nice, geographically varied collection and three vast mixed-species hoofstock yards. If you find yourself in Alabama it's worth a visit.

    I also visited the Bronx as a child, but recall too little of my experience there to make a proper judgement. I hope to revisit soon, and San Diego, Woodland Park, Berlin, Burgers and Singapore (a ton of foreign zoos really, never been outside of the Western Hemisphere!) are all on my must-see list among others.
     
  19. zooboy28

    zooboy28 Moderator Staff Member

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    This is a little tricky, as there are a lot of fantastic zoos out there, but here are my top 9 that I have visited (order is just first visited):

    1 Auckland Zoo, NZ: My "home" zoo, and one that is constantly changing and improving, with probably one of the overall highest standard of exhibit in the world. I love the biogeographic theming, and the NZ section is a world-class display.

    2 Taronga Zoo, Australia: The vista and collection (especially of natives) is superb, with some absolutely fantastic exhibits (again especially for native species). The massive size of the zoo means there are different paths to explore each time, adding to the thrill of visiting.

    3 Jurong Bird Park, Singapore: Although all the Singapore collections have a great range of species, and brilliantly lush displays, Jurong's beauty and diversity elevate it above the rest. Certainly the best bird collection I have visited. It will be a very sad day when this great park closes.

    4 ZSL London Zoo, UK: The first European zoo I visited, so my first experience of how historic zoos look and feel. The amount of history and different exhibition styles was exciting and impressive, and the houses were just amazing.

    5 Wroclaw Zoo, Poland: This zoo was so much better than I expected, with brilliant exhibits all over the place: an African desert house, a Madagascar house and the most impressive reptile collection I have ever seen. While I haven't seen the Afrykarium, it looks amazing too, and I would love to go back there.

    6 Plzen Zoo, Czech Rep: The diversity of Plzen is unmatched by any other zoo I have visited, with a huge range of species in a beautiful setting. Oddly enough, the highlight was patting an Indian Rhino.

    7 Zurich Zoo, Switzerland: Obviously Zurich gets very cold in winter, but the zoo still made for a great day of discovery. The biogeographically themed zones were cohesive and included some rarely seen combinations - especially for Himalayan species. But Masaola stole the show, and is the best individual exhibit I have ever seen.

    8 Berlin Tierpark, Germany: After visiting the zoo, I was expecting more of the same from the Tierpark, but what I got was a sprawling parkland that displayed almost a full range of mammal diversity (much of it grouped taxonomically). There were surprises everywhere, and it was paradise for a hoofstock enthusiast.

    9 San Diego Zoo, USA: Obviously globally regarded as one of the best zoos, San Diego is home to my favourite rainforest exhibits, which I think are even better than those in Singapore. The extensive collections of primates, carnivores and birds are highlights, while the twisting paths take you through a great range of habitats with many unexpected enclosures.
     
  20. vogelcommando

    vogelcommando Well-Known Member

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    In radius of about 25 kilometer there are quite a lot of collections, without checking a map I know for example:
    Dierenrijk Nuenen
    ZooParc Overloon
    ZieZOO
    Best Zoo
    Klein Costa Rica
    Vlindersafari Gemert
    Fazanterie de Rooie Hoeve
    Oliemeulen
    Beekse Bergen
    Zoo Veldhoven
    Some of these are very small and very specialized ( Fazanterie, Vlindersafarie, Klein Costa Rica ) some are medium sized with some rarely seen animals ( ZieZOO with several carnivores, Best with for example European kingfisher, Maguari ) and the others are large with all quite good collections - the best of them being Beekse Bergen.
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2016