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Cryptid-Themed Exhibit - Mystery of the Sasquatch

Discussion in 'Speculative Zoo Design and Planning' started by Yi Qi, 20 Apr 2018.


Do you like this exhibit or not?

  1. Yes

    14 vote(s)
  2. No

    2 vote(s)
  3. Kind Of

    7 vote(s)
  1. Yi Qi

    Yi Qi Well-Known Member

    24 Feb 2018
    Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
    Mystery of the Sasquatch


    This unorthodoxly-themed exhibit is centered around the cryptid known as the Sasquatch or Bigfoot and the possible inspirations behind it. To a lesser extent, it focuses on the ecosystems of the pacific northwestern coasts and the indigenous cultures of the region.

    It begins with a building themed as a makeshift museum detailing the history of sasquatch sightings and so-called evidence, such as photos, videos, and track casts. Leading towards the building’s exit would be several signage, which would explain sasquatch is more than likely a myth, and that most sightings/evidence are cases of misidentification. After exiting the building, visitors enter the section of the exhibit which replicates that of the pacific northwestern coast, complete with fake sequoias and redwoods scattered about, as well as several species of free-flight birds (species to be determined). Two benches would be themed as a fallen log, and also double as vivariums for banana slugs. Just up ahead is a replica of a traditional salish camp next to a lake, complete with some salmon out to dry, and an aviary for a pair of bald eagles next to it. Entering into one of the longhouses which has been converted into an open house, visitors can learn about the various wildmen of indigenous cultures via cartoons and dioramas, basically telling zoogoers that this is where the myth of the sasquatch came from, and that it’s just that - a myth. The space also doubles as one for special events, provided that the screens and dioramas could be moved away.

    After exiting the longhouse, visitors soon come across a river flowing into the lake with an abandoned fishing post next to it. This is the first major enclosure in MotS, home to both grizzly and american black bears, which would rotate on and off with one another. Interpretives in the fishing post explain that many sasquatch sightings could simply be bears standing upright seen from a distance, or in one case, look like one with mange. Nearby is a pen for raccoons, with their dexterous hands highlighted in the signage.

    As the bends and goes up a hill, the next two enclosures are a large grassy enclosure on one side home to both elk, moose, and columbian whitetail deer and the other is a forested pen for mountain lions. A small shed once again provides interpretives, only this time for sasquatch calls and fur samples. They would explain that many recordings of sounds attributed to sasquatches are or could really be the sounds made by elk, moose, and cougars, and hair samples are most likely elk and moose hair. It would also note how divergent sasquatch calls are, and that if it truly were real they would all sound the same. A replica of the infamous Skookum cast (believed to be made by an elk) would also be located in the shed. As you leave the two enclosures, signage once again states that most sasquatch footage and physical evidence are hoaxed or misidentified. However, it now moves onto what sasquatch’s true identity (or at least the ones proposed by cryptozoologists) is as visitors enter a cave, which is really another building.

    In the corridor, graphics would list several theories about what sort of animal Sasquatch is, namely basal humans as proposed by Heuvelmans or a descendant of the pleistocene ape Gigantopithecus which crossed Beringia. Eventually, visitors exit out into a large room replicating the forests of eastern Asia one million years ago, with the walls resembling bamboo. The main exhibit in the building would a large paddock for bornean orangutans and lar gibbons. Yet more interpretives such as a model gigantopithecus would show that gigantopithecus cannot be a sasquatch because being most related to orangutans, as they’re too anatomically different to support bipedal motion for one thing. The fact that gibbons are . Scattered throughout the hall would be replica tools and fossils of , with signage nothing that primitive humans also could not be sasquatches for several reasons, namely that humans are not covered in thick hair and don’t have the frame of the broad-shouldered sasquatch, not to mention we'd have found more evidence of them by now. The exit corridor is once again lined with interpretives reiterating that the theories of cryptozoologists are bunk.

    The final stage of MotS takes place outside in the same forest near the museum, with visitors having exited the cave building along a small ridge’s wall. In the wall would be casts of ground sloth skeletons and basal primates of cenozoic America, being the closest in real life to sasquatches as described as the signage. The pathway leads back to the entrance, where a fiberglass model of a sasquatch can be found lurking (which would be moved daily).
    Species List
    • 8.8 Banana Slug (Ariolimax californicus, columbianus, and dolichophallus)
    • 1.1 Northern Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus washingtoniensis)
    • 1.2 Olympic Black Bear (Ursus altifrontalis)
    • 1.1 Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis)
    • 3.3 Pacific Northwest Raccoon (Procyon lotor pacificus)
    • 3.5 Roosevelt Elk (Cervus canadensis roosevelti)
    • 4.5 Columbian black-tailed deer (Odocoileus hemionus columbianus)
    • 2.4 Moose (Alces alces)
    • 1.0 Cougar (Puma concolor couguar)
    • 4.4 Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus)
    • 3.2 Lar gibbon (Hylobates lar)
    I appreciate any sort of thoughts and constructive criticism.
    Last edited: 20 Apr 2018
  2. ZooBinh

    ZooBinh Well-Known Member

    2 Sep 2017
    Dayton, Ohio
    nice list
  3. akasha

    akasha Well-Known Member

    8 Jun 2018
    NSW, Australia
    This actually sounds really cool. You could do a similar thing with Yeti and mountain-themed exhibits, with species like Snow Leopard and Tibetan Brown Bear. Or an Indonesian rain forest one about Ebu Gogo, and have info about Homo floresiensis.
    Yi Qi likes this.
  4. Pootle

    Pootle Well-Known Member

    2 Feb 2010
    Lancashire, UK
    I think your writing, thinking and the idea is cool.
    Just bear in mine that it's not the cryptozoologists who believe, know or don't know about Sasquatch, its those who spend time in the forests, the hunters, the loggers and maybe the occasional mushroom collector (depending on what mushrooms they are collecting often). Its unlikely that it's something that could exhibited in any 'zoo' for many reasons...
  5. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

    3 Sep 2013
    Baltic Sea - no more
    Real sequoia / redwood are available and way more authentic.
    From a narrative pov, it's way more efficient to unveil the solution at the end, not in the beginning.

    All we currently know of both Giganthopithecus species is based on teeth and some jaw segments. A bit too little to confirm or rule out bipedalism.

    Apparently, you have never been to an oriental bath / sauna. Or a nude beach.;):D

    Ursus americanus altifrontalis

    Your idea is lacking a very fundamental thing: a gift shop dedicated to everything Bigfoot / Sasquatch as well as the legendary Bigfoot monster truck. And Jack Link's Beef Jerky as a sponsor. :D
    LowlandGorilla4 and birdsandbats like this.
  6. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    19 Dec 2007
    Everywhere at once
    The exhibit is nice, but I would not theme a zoo exhibit over pseudoscience, because you may be unwillingly propagating the superstition rather than rebuking it. Let the myth die out.
  7. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

    3 Sep 2013
    Baltic Sea - no more
    Junklekitteb likes this.
  8. FelipeDBKO

    FelipeDBKO Well-Known Member

    19 Mar 2016
    São Paulo, SP, Brazil
    While I'm not a fan of emphasizing non-wildlife related topics in a zoo, I don't think that's much different than reserving a space to a certain culture and their religion/folklore (except on a larger scale) as I believe many zoos do. If you ignore the conspiracy theories and look at the myth as what it actually is, it's just as much of a folklore as the brazilian Saci, Curupira or Headless Mule, whether you consider that positive or not. Also, I believe deciding not to deal critically with a subject in fear of giving it too much relevance may not always be the right choice in the end, and considering most americans have at least already heard of the Bigfoot at some point, I don't think there's much in terms of "propagating".
  9. elefante

    elefante Well-Known Member

    12 Aug 2009
    North Dakota, USA
    Can you make another? This is very interesting and creative.
    LowlandGorilla4 likes this.