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Entrance Animals

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Scottish Wildcat, 9 Dec 2017.

  1. Scottish Wildcat

    Scottish Wildcat Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't find a thread like this anywhere else, but I wanted to discuss the animals that are the first you see when you walk into any zoo. What are the most common? Most unusual? What ones work the best? Etc

    I feel like the most common choices would be things like meerkats, flamingos, penguins, maybe otters. Things interesting enough to grab a visitor's attention but not too flashy that they have no reason to walk around the rest of the zoo (I think elephants at Chester, especially free-for-view elephants, is quite odd). I grew up with mid-2000's Edinburgh Zoo, so Sea Lions seem like a normal one for me, though I gather they were a bit unusual. I think it worked well for Edinburgh.

    Other ones I've seen are the meerkats at modern Edinburgh, the flamingos at San Diego, the yak/camel/kiang at HWP, the 'Oasis' exhibit at DAK, sea lions again at Central Park, and capuchin monkeys at Lisbon.
     
  2. PaleoMatt

    PaleoMatt Well-Known Member

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    Chester's elephants are quite different from other zoos but I feel like it's a good thing. It is one of the most recognisable features at Chester and it is always awesome to walk into the zoo and just see the huge elephants right there especially for kids they think it is amazing.
     
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  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Penguins, Flamingos, and various waterfowl are very common entrance animals. I have also seen various tropical birds, orangutans, Japanese Macaques, Pygmy Goats, and Common Goldfish as entrance animals.
     
  4. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Flamongoes should win on sheer numbers as zoo entrance exhibits - almost the de facto example. Waterfowl are pretty common too. I have also seen a fair number of primates on islands, usually gibbons but also capuchins + lemurs. It would seem that a water-based exhibit is a very popular idea. But most unusual - Singapore Night Safari did (and might still do) have a two-toed sloth exhibit just before you went in the gate. Of course they were more active then your usual day-time sloths.
    Always thought that having a very dynamic, showy and/or popular species - parrots, small primate or meerkats, would work really well to draw visitors from the front gate.
     
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  5. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    The oddest choice for an entrance exhibit (in my opinion at least!) is snow leopards at Twycross. Why, when you have so many primates, have your first exhibit featuring a cat species? Not the most active of animals at the best of times so why not rehouse a primate species or two in that area and play to the strength of the collection?

    And as already mentioned, flamingo/waterfowl/pelicans tend to have first exhibit priority for some reason.
     
  6. tetrapod

    tetrapod Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've not seen Twycross' snow leopards but it does seem a ridiculous choice.
     
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  7. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    flamingos used to be common as a first exhibit in the U.K. The Chinese garden at Chester by the red pandas was originally a flamingo enclosure, and it was next to the zoo's first entrance.

    The old Dudley Zoo entrance was near to flamingos.

    One of the first things you see on entering Bristol is the flamingo and waterfowl aviary.
     
  8. Charlie Simmomds

    Charlie Simmomds Well-Known Member

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    Birmingham wildlife conservation centre has a strange opening exhibit area. Greater rhea to the right, saki and cotton topped tamarin to the left, beside capybara and just beyond that is kune kune pigs.

    Not the most exciting but an interesting opening non the less.
     
  9. Zoolover1020

    Zoolover1020 Active Member

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    The Oregon Zoo has Mountaib Goats right when you walk in the enterance
     
  10. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    Berlin Tierpark has an American Black Bear, Lisbon has Squirrel Monkeys, and Kraków Zoo has Elephants right outside the gate. Yeah you heard me, Elephants!
     
  11. PaleoMatt

    PaleoMatt Well-Known Member

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    I guess Chester isn't alone then!
     
  12. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Toronto Zoo used to have Bald Eagles in a tiny aviary right as you walk in.
     
  13. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Sandown Zoo has grey mouse lemurs, lesser hedgehog tenrecs and green iguanas near the entrance. I only saw the iguana, but it made a change from flamingoes.
     
  14. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The flamingo enclosure at Paignton is the first part of the zoo that visitors see as they walk from the car park to the entrance building.
    I like the idea of having one exhibit visible before you enter the zoo. Carl Hagenbeck did it with brown bears when he built Hamburg Zoo.
     
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  15. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but interestingly they were only moved here around the time the Gorilla Island was built as they formerly occupied a large and very pleasant paddock in that part of the zoo- it disappeared into part of the Gorilla exhibit.
     
  16. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Pertinax, I remember now, I also remember a large enclosure with about a dozen white storks.
     
  17. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    Beauval has a couple of islands for Ring Tailed Lemurs and Black-and-white colobus to greet you on entering.
    Duisburg has the Amur Tigers and the Dolphins at one of the entrances.

    I usually rush to exhibits away from entrances first thing, when they are quieter, unless there is something I haven't seen previoulsy.
     
  18. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    That was the 'Whipsnade Paddock', which was absorbed into Seal and Penguin Coasts. It used to hold Red Kangaroos, Axis Deer, Peafowl, and Demoiselle Cranes as well as the breeding group of Storks.
     
  19. Swampy

    Swampy Well-Known Member

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    Wingham has a paddock with llamas outside the main entrance, to one side of the car park. However this seems almost out of the way, and i'd imagine a fair few visitors walk past it without taking any notice.
     
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  20. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    Hamerton's Zebra are in a field next to the overspill carpark, easily missed if you don't need to use it.