Join our zoo community

Colchester Zoo Colchester zoo winter 2014 thread

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by banham.tiger, 14 Oct 2014.

  1. banham.tiger

    banham.tiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Oct 2013
    Posts:
    382
    Location:
    essex
    I thought it was time to start a new thread as summer is now over.
    To start off the zoo is building a butterfly house in the old tortoise enclosure by the mangabeys !!
     
  2. pipaluk

    pipaluk Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    10 Feb 2012
    Posts:
    1,920
    Location:
    England
    A very odd choice of use, what will they think of next?! At times I despair of Colchester almost as much as I do ZSL and Marwell, although at least it doesn't lose species quite as often! Apart from anything else surely that area wouldn't be big enough for much of a walkthrough area(which most butterfly houses are)!
    This will probably join the expensive koi house (as a don't bother looking in more than once area) for me.
     
  3. banham.tiger

    banham.tiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Oct 2013
    Posts:
    382
    Location:
    essex
    the zoo has a lot of plans in the future they want a crocodile house:)
     
  4. banham.tiger

    banham.tiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Oct 2013
    Posts:
    382
    Location:
    essex
    a nice visit today a lion keeper told me that the horrible concrete that flows through the enclosure is going to be replaced with bark in the near future.

    no work seems to be starting on the chimp refurbishment and the langurs are still residence in the opposite enclosure.

    some radiated tortoises have been added to the Madagascan tree boa enclosure.

    the orangutans were seperated all day .
     
  5. DesertRhino150

    DesertRhino150 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    969
    Location:
    Essex
    I also managed to get in a visit today:

    - The old sugar glider enclosure in the KuneKune pig house now contains domesticated rats
    - The pool in Australian Rainbows now has several quite small rainbowfish (they looked like Boeseman's rainbowfish) in residence
    - Several of the rainbow lorikeets now appear to be pairing off, mutually preening each other and fighting off other lorikeets that approach too close
    - The flamingo chick was outside, but separated from the adults by a metal fence
    - One of the giraffes was separated from the other two in the indoor stall
    - One of the cherry-crowned mangabeys (a young male) will probably be leaving the collection soon; the other three are still yet to be mixed in with the troop
    - If the signage is to be believed there are now three species of lemur mixed in the walk-through; definitely saw the ring-tailed lemurs and a pair of red ruffed lemurs with the red-bellied lemurs still indicated on signage
     
  6. banham.tiger

    banham.tiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Oct 2013
    Posts:
    382
    Location:
    essex
    do you know why the orangs were separated?
     
  7. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    711
    Location:
    North Essex.
    That house used to be a walk through enclosure a few years ago, you could go through from the old lion hose, and had tortoises and I think small lizards in it . granted not large and Colchester does seam to move in very odd directions, I know the reason they built the koi set up, but it was just stuck in as far as I can tell, it could have formed more of a Japanese area with herps and other Japanese fish etc.
     
  8. banham.tiger

    banham.tiger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    8 Oct 2013
    Posts:
    382
    Location:
    essex
    i don't think it was ever a walk through
     
  9. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    711
    Location:
    North Essex.
    I'm sure it was in the 1990's you could enter via the lion house, and they had perspex edges to the displays, one on each side of the path, like a sort of canyon effect I think they had a sign which stated it was opened my a newsreader at the time Martin Lewis springs to mind.
    You could have easily reached over the perspex to pick up a tortoise I seam to recall if any one had been so minded.
     
  10. zooman64

    zooman64 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    252
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, U.K.
    I can confirm the old tortoise house was once a walk-through.
     
  11. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    711
    Location:
    North Essex.
    Thanks zooman 64 I was starting to doubt myself as I can't find my old photos and the memory can sometimes play tricks on me:eek:
     
  12. zooman64

    zooman64 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    2 Apr 2009
    Posts:
    252
    Location:
    Cambridgeshire, U.K.
    I remember back in the nineties, they also had other African reptiles in there. My memory is a bit hazy. I think there were the tortoises on one side, and lizards on the other, with the public path between. I remember monitor lizards, though I can't quite remember if they were Bosc or Nile monitor. There may also have been plated lizards. I've got some old Colchester Zoo maps of the period, but these are of no help as the building is simply labelled as "Out of Africa: African Reptiles". Nowadays, whenever I visit Colchester Zoo, which I generally do about once a year, I religiously make a note of which species of animals are housed where, as things change so rapidly at Colchester and my lists will be ve4ry useful in the future to show where all the animals were. It's just a shame I didn't think to do that in the nineties and early noughties.
     
  13. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    711
    Location:
    North Essex.
    I kept a photo record, but a few computer upgrades later some of the original photos/ discs have been misplaced
     
  14. DesertRhino150

    DesertRhino150 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    969
    Location:
    Essex
  15. DesertRhino150

    DesertRhino150 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    15 Jul 2010
    Posts:
    969
    Location:
    Essex
  16. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    16,555
    Location:
    england
    I presume this one is a son of the old pair. The original group(2.2) currently comprises the old pair, the younger (now adult) male and a smaller female juvenile. The other day I was told they are having some problems adding the three new (unrelated) females to this group. The indoor exhibit area of the 'Forest' enclosure was all closed off for renovations and I wondered if it is being redone, partly at least, to facilitate their introduction.
     
    Last edited: 11 Nov 2014
  17. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    16,555
    Location:
    england
    Colchester Zoo visit.

    A few notes and impressions from my recent visit, the first for about four years;

    I think they should call Colchester the 'Bamboo Zoo'( or Zone?) - I have never seen so much of the stuff- they could feed a pair of Giant Pandas with it! The Siberian Tiger areas are so full of it, just a sea of Bamboo now, that the cats are virtually invisible- it actually looks quite good- though arguably Siberians aren't the most suitable species to show in this setting- but it does make viewing them very difficult- a few cleared patches to give some open areas too, would definately help here.

    Bamboo is now very evident in the old Tiger valley too- now an effective Lemur area. It seemed to be closed as a walkthrough though.

    Sun Bears- new outside enclosure is a true Colchester-style 'Rock-fest' (celebration of fake rock;)). But roomy and does the job.

    Orangutan 'Forest'. Doesn't get any better with age.:( They should roof the outdoor enclosure, add hanging strapping ('vines') etc and make the visitor viewing at ground level, so you look up, not down. But with only single males there is little to see in there anyway. Tiga and Rajang were again seperate- is this becoming a permanent arrangement now?

    Mangabeys- see above- they appear to have exchanged some females born in the group for 3 new unrelated ones. Currently the two groups are held seperately- as 2.2 and 0.3. Indoor area of 'Mangabey Forest closed and being renovated.

    Geladas. Currently 12 animals(7.5) 2 adult males, 4 females, 6 younger ones(5.1). Skewed toward males.:(

    Mandrills. About 25. I noticed at least 6-7, maybe more, adult or near-adult males in the group. I wondered if apart from one obvious dominant male, whether the others have been castrated to allow them to stay in the group longterm, as most of them didn't look quite 'right' somehow. Maybe this is the way some Gorilla groups will look in the future.

    L'Hoest's monkeys are now in the large enclosure in the Africa area, where the Colobus used to live. Unfortunately there is no indoor viewing of their house, so if indoors(as they were) Mr Average visitor won't ever see them. But they were up by the small windows of the house soaking up the sun and I could see the new baby. I think maybe the Colobus made a better display here.

    Philippine Deer/Warty Hogs. Four of each (they are mixed again). The Deer have lost their nice grassy enclosure because of the Pigs' rooting activity. Its now been completely covered in dry bark material instead. The two species seemed compatable though I felt sorry for the deer with no grazing whatsoever now. I don't think these Deer(1.3) have ever bred here, at least successfully anyway, as I have never seen a young one.

    Leopards-enclosure has already 'matured' and with the rocky areas blended in. Its smaller than I expected it would be, but its okay. Prefer it to YWP's for example.

    Francois Langurs- will be moved to the Wilds of Asia enclosure (currently still housing Lion-tailed Macaque) after its been renovated. I presume LTM will leave the collection- I saw only one and they don't seem to be labelled any more.

    Chimps-no change to enclosure outdoors until after Francois Langurs move.

    Pygmy Hippos- probably the smallest/poorest enclosure for these in UK. Pool is tiny, as is the landspace.

    Wolves- still just about the best viewing anywhere I know of for this species, though enclosure isn't large even for the three(?) that remain.

    Elephants- despite there being four(?) I only ever seem to see one or two of them. I presume breeding them is now a thing of the past here.

    Likes; Sheer Size and variety of collection.
    Inside display areas for reptiles, fish etc scattered all about.
    Attempts at naturalised enclosures.( I can even live with the fake rock;))
    Labelling, Information and education displays.
    Playa Patagonia( Sealion area)

    Dislikes; Automatic Doors everywhere.
    Herbivores in bare surroundings without any grass-e.g. Rhino, Zebra, Phillipine Deer, Gelada etc.
    'Musak'- though much reduced nowadays.
    Cluttered design in the old part of Zoo and steep paths/dead ends etc- but you can't change the old layout of course.
    Orangutan 'forest'.:rolleyes:
    Indoor viewing of the large African' ungulates- such ugly holding areas.:eek:
    Smelly-looking lake-it needs better drainage I think.

    Last point-first impressions and that- the entrance drive from the Main Road to the Car Park must be one of the poorest for a large Zoo in the UK- it remains unchanged over many years of my visits- potholed and scruffy- they should resurface the road and tidy this area up.
     
    Last edited: 12 Nov 2014
  18. karenZOO

    karenZOO Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    24 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    623
    Location:
    suffolk england
  19. dean

    dean Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Aug 2012
    Posts:
    711
    Location:
    North Essex.
    Looking at some of the YouTube links with the above story the one about the history of Colchester zoo brought back some memories of my first visits in the late 1990's I don't know if any one else remembers, but the shot of the building of Play a Patagonia shows the old elephant house still in Place at the back of the hole. And one of the zeedonk's looking very old.
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    5 Dec 2006
    Posts:
    16,555
    Location:
    england
    I did indeed. Always enjoy my visits there. So much to see. I can take the rough with the smooth- as in Fake rock.:D

    Oh, and I didn't see a single Rat......:(
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2014