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Creative uses of old enclosures.

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Onychorhynchus coronatus, 8 Dec 2020.

  1. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    In many zoos around the world founded during the 19th century old animal enclosures (though sometimes beautiful in an aesthetic sense) are a bit of a bane, in that they often cannot be destroyed for cultural heritage reasons but also take up much needed room.

    However, there seem to be many creative examples of zoos that have managed to re-use these structures either as art installations, educational displays or museums.

    What are some examples of these that you guys know of ?

    Look forward to hearing your replies.
     
    Last edited: 8 Dec 2020
  2. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    This is an example that come to mind that I've seen in the gallery and that impressed me :

    This is an old bear cage at the old Poznan zoo in Poland which has been reused as an educational display as part of the "Silent Forest" campaign by Eaza on promoting Asian song bird conservation and stopping the illegal pet trade:
    [​IMG]

    Photo credits to @ThylacineAlive.
     
  3. Paleoarchontas

    Paleoarchontas Well-Known Member

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    The two that come to mind at the Detroit Zoo elephant house and the London Zoo’s Casson Pavilion
     
  4. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    The Vienna zoo really seems to excel in using their old enclosures creatively.

    This is an old big cat cage that is now a visitor viewing area for cheetah:
    [​IMG]

    Here is the old lion enclosure which now houses a bronze lion sculpture :
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Visitors can even enter the enclosure to see a little of what life must have looked like for the lions that once were housed here:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Photo credits to @Maguari and @Baldur and @drzoomi.
     
    Last edited: 8 Dec 2020
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  5. Neil chace

    Neil chace Well-Known Member

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    I have seen some zoos turn old enclosures into exhibits for much smaller species. At the Capron Park Zoo, there are meerkats, servals, and debrazza monkeys on display in former big Cat exhibits, while goats and alpacas live in the former Bison exhibit. At Roger Williams Park Zoo, the current gift shop used to be an animal display, although I don't know what species it contained. Similarly, bald eagles reside in the former Polar Bear Exhibit. At ZooAmerica, the old monkey island is now a Prarie Dog Exhibit.
     
  6. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Not quite as old as the ones shown already, but Henry Vilas converted their decades old outdated Harbor Seal enclosure into one for North American Porcupines!

    Before:
    [​IMG]

    After:
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Tell me more about these, why do these come to mind and how have they been used ?

    (I'm familiar with the London Zoo's Casson pavilion but not with Detroit zoo)
     
  8. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Those sound like some much needed improvements at the zoos you mentioned and I'm sure the new inhabitants are much happier in these enclosures than the former ones.

    It is brilliant to hear when zoos do this kind of remodelling and when it benefits the animals.

    I bet those porcupines just like the fishing cat at Nurnberg are very happy with their new home.

    Have you guys seen any art installations, educational displays or museum type installations in old enclosures in zoos ?
     
  9. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    This isn't an actual functioning zoo but rather one that has since closed and has been turned into something of a monument / historic site.

    This is the old Madrid zoo in Spain in the La Casa de las Fieras of the Buen Retiro park, no animals anymore except art and some ducks and peacocks.



    Here is old historic footage of the park when it was still a zoo.

     
  10. Paleoarchontas

    Paleoarchontas Well-Known Member

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    Essentially the old elephant house was covered into an indoor space for southern white rhino, as the building was more guest-centric, and white rhino seem to be more tolerant to cold weather than elephant in captivity - I could be wrong but isn’t it the case that elephant need to be kept warm, where as rhino can get cold as long as they have a warm area to return to shortly afterwards? Anyway, the space is much more suitable for rhino
     
  11. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Old bear pit at Jardin des Plantes, repurposed for Binturong.
    Fauverie at the same place, repurposed for Snow and Clouded Leopards where there used to be Lions and Tigers
     
  12. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    It was originally built for pairs of black and white rhinoceros (including a male Northern white), and female pairs of African Bush and Asian elephants. None of these species have been on site for many years
     
  13. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    But guys specifically referring to re-use of historic structures either as art installations, educational displays or museums within zoos.
     
  14. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Well-Known Member

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    Griffith Park Zoo! This is exactly what the old Griffith Park Zoo is and I've been it's really cool.
    context: The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park in Los Angeles. The original zoo was called the Griffith Park Zoo but when they wanted to redo the zoo they decided to use a different part of Griffith Park (The place is massive). So when they built the new zoo they left all the old grottos and cages and now you can go visit them and go inside of them. It's also covered in graffiti
    Screenshot 2020-12-08 124039.jpg Some Graffiti covered cages
    Screenshot 2020-12-08 124247.jpg
    The old Polar Bear Grotto is now a.... Picnic Area
    Screenshot 2020-12-08 124428.jpg
    Some old cages
     
  15. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    Thats an interesting example and I guess it has been repurposed for art in some ways, but its basically an abandoned site isn't it ?
     
  16. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Well-Known Member

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    Kinda, it's still somewhat maintained by the parks service because it's technically a historic landmark but they don't do much if people draw graffiti there. It's really fun to explore though.
     
  17. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was interesting when the Elephant House at the Paris Menagerie was turned into a Micrarium with microscopes so that visitors could see very small animals.
     
  18. Tim May

    Tim May Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Duisburg Zoo converted its former mandrill accommodation into a small but very interesting zoo museum.

    Duisburg Zoo - Zoo Museum - ZooChat
     
  19. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Old Poznań Zoo has repurposed old animal caging as a museum with stuffed animals
     
  20. Penshet

    Penshet Well-Known Member

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    In Genk, Belgium, there used to be a zoo (Limburgse Zoo (Closed) - ZooChat). From what I've heard (and can see in the gallery), it was a pretty terrible place. It was recently reopened as an open-air art gallery for a Belgian artist with a limited collection of living animals (hornbills, turacos, Steller's sea eagles, llamas, camels and some deer, as well as hundreds of chickens) called Labiomista. Barely anything of the old zoo is still standing, and what is left standing is not used by the new project, besides the old directors' residence, which showcases some of the artists' work.

    I visited last summer and while it's definitely better than the zoo that used to be here, I'm not convinced of its current use either - a small wildlife park focusing on native wildlife would have been much better use of the site IMO. That's just my biased view though, I'm not particularly interested in this kind of art.