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Could Elephant Odyssey have been better implemented somehow?

Discussion in 'United States' started by Wyman, 11 Feb 2017.

  1. Wyman

    Wyman Well-Known Member

    23 Oct 2016
    I have read countless threads on how Elephant Odyssey is a travesty amongst the greats of zoological design, and in some cases, I can see how. Poor sightlines, decent rockwork, awful design (the UFO/oil rig "utilitrees", etc.) I feel as if Elephant Odyssey could have been better implemented at the Safari Park, with the promised American Bison and Przewalski's horses the Zoo never got, and Elephant Odyssey could have gone like this:

    Monsoon India:
    • Ditch the xeriphytic plants (implement them in Africa Rocks, save the Madagascan garden for later purposes) and use native Indian foliage in conjunction with tropical plants to create a "Wet Season" near the pool and a "Dry Season" near the Condors.
    • Move the Jaguars and Sloth to a "Cloud Forest" exhibit (will be evaluated on later) Move lions to Africa Rocks in land formerly reserved for Zebras as connection to African Kopje, use Sloth Exhibit for Indian Mongoose and use exhibits for Lions and Jaguars for Hanuman Langurs, complete with lush planting on all sides
    • Move the Tapirs, Guanacos, and Capybara to "Cloud Forest" (Basically, canyon below Bear Canyon or "Asian Passage" gets "Africa Rocks" treatment and gets converted into immersive experience from the Pantanal to the Andes Mountains)
    • Use this exhibit instead for Nilgai, Axis Deer, Blackbuck (and have link to Elephants)
    • Ditch "utilitrees" for Banyan Trees (protected, of course by planters) and add irrigation for grass
    • Hide Elephant Management center (initially by creating hill in front, still working this out)
    • Use Secretary Bird exhibit for Indian Jackals
    • For Dry Season, demolish Domestic horse exhibit and create mixed exhibit for Sloth Bears and Axis Deer (like Woodland Park originally planned in their 1976 master plan)
    • Connect to former Camel exhibit
    • Move Condors to Safari Park, use exhibit for Indian Vultures
    • Rename "Sabertooth Grill" to "Tiffin Indian Kitchen"
    • Add links from Sun Bear Forest through Mesa Bridge, from Tiger River (again, still working this out)
    This is just an idea, I don't know how if this were to actually be implemented, financial resources would be found in order to do so. I wish the Zoo actually used this idea, as they would keep some of their veritable hoofstock collection, as well as creating an immersive experience for guests.
  2. jibster

    jibster Well-Known Member

    28 Apr 2015
    Columbus, Ohio, USA

    While I don't disagree that your proposal could have made a more immersive exhibit area, it also completely changes the idea behind Elephant Odyssey - which was to show animals that once lived (or whose ancestors once lived) in southern California. The idea was never to do a strict zoogeographic theme or even to provide a wholly immersive experience. While you title the thread "could Elephant Odyssey have been better implemented," your proposal (which I don't dislike at all - that's not the point) changes the idea behind it so drastically that you're really simply proposing what you see as a better way for the Zoo to have built a new elephant exhibit. You seem to suggest that the idea behind elephant odyssey may have worked better at the Safari Park, but I don't see how - the Safari Park really is focused on zoogeographic organization of animals (for the most part) and such an exhibit would perhaps seem even more out of place there.

    Furthermore, while you say that this would allow the Zoo to keep some of its hoofstock collection, none of the species you propose adding were found at the Zoo prior to construction of this exhibit (not to say that none of them have been part of the Zoo's collection in the past, but none of them were part of the Zoo's hoofstock that was displaced by Elephant Odyssey). And since all of the hoofstock species you list are present in the Safari Park collection and none are particularly rare, I'm not sure why the Zoo should consider focusing on them. Finally, many of the species you propose are not present in American collections at present (i.e., Indian jackal, Indian mongoose, Hanuman langur) and are not, to my knowledge, proposed as phase-in species (not that the Zoo would be limited by these necessarily, but it would make stocking these exhibits very difficult, not to mention making it almost impossible to build sustainable populations)