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Do we expect our zoos to improve every year ?

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by garyjp, 5 Oct 2015.

  1. garyjp

    garyjp Well-Known Member

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    Simple question do we expect our zoos to improve every year and if so how ? Do we expect to see more species or do we expect to see better accomodation for the animals ?
     
  2. wildzoo

    wildzoo Active Member

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    I think people have unrealistic expectations of what a zoo can offer the animals. I think seeing a variety of species is probably more important than the enclosures.

    I'm not a fan of enclosures that are so large I don't get the opportunity to see the animal. I know that probably sounds bad but what can I say. Unlike the media I am realistic and realize their is a limit to what we can offer animals in a captive environment.
     
  3. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    I dunno if a lot of people expect to see more species. Many animals kept in zoos these days are obtained from captive breeding rather than wild capture, so there aren't always a whole lot of opportunities to see new species. There's also still a lot of emphasis on the charismatic megafauna, so there is often less demand for more obscure species even if some individuals are available, and even if it's an endangered/vulnerable species that could benefit from captive breeding and public education. (I'd love to see a pangolin, personally. The tree pangolin is my favorite but I'd be happy with any of them)

    Accommodations, yeah, zoos should always be working to improve those. Not just in terms of space, there's also enrichment and a good environment design. (lately I've been wondering if it would be possible to rig some kind of electronic toys/games as enrichment for dolphins, I bet that would be possible in the near future, if not now)
     
  4. kateL

    kateL Member

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    Personally, I don't expect zoos to improve that much each year. I do think that as activist groups are growing in number, there will be a need to insure that all the animals that are in the zoos are constantly cared for at a level beyond what they would endure in the wild. I think it's a very touchy subject though on whether animals should have more space in general. I think it really depends non the needs of the animal individually. I agree with wildzoo though that sometimes I can't even see the animals.
     
  5. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    I expect them to improve every 5 years, not each year. Also, improving exhibits for animals already there is more important than bringing new animals in.
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Zoos can always improve. There are the big improvements like new large enclosures (those improvements wil be rare because of the cost). There are modest improvements like new species (but without new enclosures, is that an improvement or simply a species-of-the-month?), and there are small but essential improvements (new enrichments, improved plantings, better use of existing enclosures, etc). These last depend on committed administration and staff, sufficient staff numbers and encouraging inquisitive staff and reasonable experimentation.
     
  7. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    This is what I was thinking when people said "improvements". An exhibit doesn't need to be updated to improve things. Even little things can help. :)
     
  8. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    When I said every 5 years I meant big improvements like new exhibits.
     
  9. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    I hope that rainforest enclosures for things like Jaguars, tapirs and cassowary became much larger with lots of rainforest trees with a board walks running through the rainforest.
     
  10. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

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    I thinks zoos need to improve every year,
    but, like what is said above, most of them would be smaller improvements.
     
  11. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Moderator Staff Member

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    The vast majority of zoo exhibits are way too small IMO. The number one improvement that is needed on a yearly and ongoing basis is more space. (Some mega zoos and wildlife parks do not need this, but overall in the zoo world yes).
     
  12. TheMightyOrca

    TheMightyOrca Well-Known Member

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    With all of the talk about elephants lately, personally I'd REALLY go for a giant elephant exhibit. That would be soooo cool.
     
  13. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    In the UK, zoos like to have a big new attraction built each winter to open in spring and attract visitors are in the summer. I am sure the same applies around the world. But there are other improvements that matter too.
    A well managed zoo should aim to improve every month and indeed every week. Not every improvement will be obvious, some will be so small that they are barely noticeable individually - but they should build into a pattern of progress and development which motivates the different teams of staff and does create an atmosphere which visitors will sense.
    A revised menu in the restaurant, a resurfaced path, a replanted flower bed, new branches to provide better opportunities for climbing in a monkey exhibit, better lighting for an aquarium, a more informative label on an exhibit, new enrichment to make a cat more active, better staff training and so on; they all add up.
    There are some improvements that are essential, but everyone hopes that they will never be necessary: good zoos regularly revise and improve their plans and drills for all the disasters that might happen - escapes, disease outbreaks, fires and other emergencies.
    Of course there will be setbacks - favourite animals get sick and die, experienced staff retire or move on, bad weather reduces visitor numbers - these are unavoidable: good zoos are resilient enough to bounce back quickly. Disasters are different: good planning can mitigate some of the problems caused by floods, typhoons and earthquakes, but major damage can be inevitable.

    Alan
     
  14. blacktuxedo

    blacktuxedo Member

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    Short answer - yes!

    I do believe that zoos should not rest on their laurels, but always keep moving forward. It should not be a matter of "if", but a matter of "what" and "how much". Of course, this is a lot more easier said than done!