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Escape from the ABCs

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Maguari, 19 Jul 2009.

  1. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Or, let's talk about something that isn't great apes, big cats or elephants! :p


    So many threads on here about the big-hitters that many of the more unusual species seem to get short shrift. I have to say that personally I am always far more interested in seeing the weird stuff than the common - species I haven't seen before, in some cases am unlikely to see again. It's always interesting to find the odd things that are lurking out there in zoo-land, and there's nothing on telly, so i thought I'd share some of my favourite recent spots (these from a recent Dutch/German zoo tour with some fellow zoochatters).


    http://www.zoochat.com/457/capuchin-bird-nop-veldhoven-16-05-a-83536/
    http://www.zoochat.com/457/capuchin-bird-nop-veldhoven-16-05-a-83654/

    A very strange bird, with a particularly haunting call. This one was in the tropical free-flight area at the Dutch Parrot Refuge/NOP/Papegaaien Park in Veldhoven, Netherlands. This was a good house for oddities - check the gallery for more weird stuff!


    http://www.zoochat.com/1031/crab-eating-raccoon-bestzoo-16-05-a-90646/

    The species that is now my avatar - this particular individual was incredibly active, attempting to grab the camera and eating in a strangely primate-like manner, moving food to its mouth with a single paw. Cracking little animals.


    http://www.zoochat.com/1028/stalk-eyed-fly-aquazoo-14-05-a-90557/

    And the award for most unexpected zoo animal goes to... the family Diopsidae. Wonderful things to see - in fact the Aquazoo invertebrate collection was very good all round.


    http://www.zoochat.com/1029/slaty-headed-parakeet-plantaria-14-05-a-90468/

    Special mention to this species as although this was my first good look at one close up, I have seen this species in the wild in Nepal some years ago. Spotted as part of the incredible parrot collection at NiederRheinPark Plantaria.


    http://www.zoochat.com/37/saiga-koeln-12-05-09-a-82270/

    Those who know me will accuse me of being predictable with this one - but this is a wonderfully odd beast, and the probably the last one in a European zoo (depending on your definitions of 'Europe' and 'zoo' - I believe Askaniya Nova still has loads).


    http://www.zoochat.com/37/vietnam-gecko-koeln-12-05-09-a-82248/

    Gekko scientiadventura is such a glorious name that this species gets instant bonus points.

    And now, zoo enthusiasts of the world, over to you! What new oddities and rarities have you come across lately? Photos welcome but of course optional.
     
  2. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    Whenever i visit Edinburgh zoo, my first stop after the Indian rhino is always either to the white lipped deer or the Siberian musk deer, hoofstock yes, but very unusual and rarely seen hoofstock.
    As is the case at the HWP, always look out for the kiang, European elk, Afghan urial and Turkmenian markhor.

    I think to see unusual species in a zoo is down to the whims and personal favourites of a collections leaders be they the director CEO or curator.
    We are lucky here in Scotland that our head of the animal department at the RZSS, Ian Valentine is one such visionary bringing in the last few years so many rare and unusual species, whereas the previous management showed no imagination in expanding the collection, and both collections are now stronger due to this vision for both regular zoo visitors and us zoo geeks!
     
  3. James27

    James27 Well-Known Member

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    Although I love most of the ABC species, one thing I love which is unusual in the UK is tamanduas. I think they're fascinating, yet there's not that many zoos that have them. And I WILL visit Koln eventually, hopefully before the Saiga cops it lol. They seem to have everything that's great and unusual (Doucs, ring tailed mongoose, red howlers, saiga etc).
     
  4. mstickmanp

    mstickmanp Well-Known Member

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    I've been lucky in that every time I visit the LA zoo I get to see Red Uakaris, mountain tapirs, blue-eyed lemurs, coquerel's sifakas, calamian deers, and peninsular pronghorns. Yesterday, I finally got to see a Giant Otter.
     
  5. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    There's not much else to see in Australia! :(
     
  6. mstickmanp

    mstickmanp Well-Known Member

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    Actually, you are lucky that you get to see Wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Bilbies, Numbats, Tiger Quolls, etc.
     
  7. Meaghan Edwards

    Meaghan Edwards Well-Known Member

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    I'm always excited when Toronto Zoo gets new animals in of any kind, but I especially get excited if they get something on the more obscure side. :) I was beyond estatic when they got dholes. and again when they brought back a previously displayed species, the Tree Shrew. Toronto has many obscure/rarely kept species.
     
  8. Zambar

    Zambar Well-Known Member

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    I'm lucky to have so many antelope species at Marwell that are often rarely seen. There are 14 species, of which the Sable Antelope, Dama Gazelle and Dorcas Gazelle are the only ones in the UK. The most recent additions are black wildebeest, which make Marwell only one of two UK collections to hold this amazing animal.
     
  9. Meg-T

    Meg-T Well-Known Member

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    I always like to see the Dhole at Twycross :D
     
  10. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Twycross is good for unusual mammals - besides the Dhole, there's also the Michie's Tufted Deer, Aardwolf, Bat-eared Foxes... and of course some real gems among the primates (particular stars being Phayre's Langur and Crowned Guenon).
     
  11. Meg-T

    Meg-T Well-Known Member

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    I definately agree on the Aardwolf (even though I can't remember ever seeing it awake!) and bat eared foxes, I am not really a primate fan, so rare/unusual species are a bit lost on me!
     
  12. foz

    foz Well-Known Member

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    aye-aye are so cool, a bit predictable I know but there are very few in captivity and so weird looking.
    thinking about it are there any aye-aye in america, seraching through the zoo sites i've never came across any?

    owstons palm civets - their eyes dont quite fit their head

    banded leaf langur - at howletts and according to zootierliste the only ones in europe

    paca - rarely seen (i've seen them at newquay, the only ones in the UK)

    black wildebeast - they look so mean :eek:
     
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2009
  13. sooty mangabey

    sooty mangabey Well-Known Member

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    They also have them at Saarbrucken - another zoo with its fair share of unusual animals. I was surprised at how large they were - I was expecting something more guinea-pig like.
     
  14. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member

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    Welcome back mr mangabe:);)y
     
  15. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Denver, Duke Primate Centre and San Francisco have Aye-Ayes according to ISIS. If there aren't any more, that's a couple of zoos fewer than the UK list, perhaps oddly.

    Aye-Ayes, like Alaotran Gentle Lemurs and Malagasy Jumping Rats are something of a British speciality within Europe; and only now getting to become frequent sights elsewhere. In those three cases, I suspect Mr Durrell could claim some responsibility! Owston's are another example, following the concerted effort to import them into the UK.
     
  16. jwer

    jwer Well-Known Member

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    Excellent thread! my favorites are the small mammals and the weirder they get, the better i think it is. Here's a collection of mammals i thoroughly enjoyed over the visits:

    Giant Mole Rat at Osnabrück - Not the best zoo in the world, but since 2009 with an absolute gem in its collection. This amazing mammal is larger then you'd think (size of a nice fat brown rat), looks utterly grumpy and has closed lips behind their huge teeth. Couldn't help staring at them for a while.

    Talapoin at Barcelona Zoo - Amazing monkeys that look utterly bend out of shape. Their hands are huge, loved to watch them at Barça

    Long-nosed potoroo at Wissel Zoo - You UK people are just spoiled with these animals around, there aren't many on the mainland, though they are getting more numerous...

    Tayra ar Prague - Cool because they seem to look like not much else in european zoos.

    Kangaroo rats at Arnhem - Can't skip these, they are amazingly funny and always seem very high strung.

    Ring-tailed Cacomistle at Arnhem - Just the name alone :) but they are very funny animals when they are active, and look nice as well.

    Montezuma Oropendola's at Walsrode - They make the most incredible sound i've ever heared any species make, it makes walking in Walsrode something very special.

    Mountain paca at Dvur Kralove - Funny BIG guinea-pig with spots, gotta love em.

    Memorable notes: The first time my girlfriend saw a giant anteater she went "What the *bliep* is THAT?!". Always a pleasure to see one, together with the tamandua, aardvark, armadillo's and echidna.

    Still on the wish list:
    Cloud rats - Panay's or any other (there are now two more species in europe).
    Giant squirrels - Leipzig or RSCC both have a pair, can't wait.
    Pangolin - Leipzig is high on the list...
    Prehensile-tailed porcupine - Frankfurt, among others.
    Kiwi - Still need to see one, going to Avifauna soon :)
    Giant elephant shrews - mark my words, the zoo species of the future, and i'm happy for it!

    I'll think up more over the next few hours i bet...
     
  17. foz

    foz Well-Known Member

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    I dont know why I said they were the only ones in europe, I already knew they weren't :confused: Perhpas i meant the only ones on the UK?

    must of been just one of those days
     
    Last edited: 21 Jul 2009
  18. MikeG

    MikeG Well-Known Member

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    The thread is still heavily dominated by mammals. I love mammals as much as the next zoo nerd, but here are some other odd species I've enjoyed seeing recently:
    Phreatichthys andruzzii - Somalian Cavefish; elongated weirdies held behind the scenes at the London Zoo aquarium.
    Etheostoma caeruleum - Rainbow Darter; a little gem of a fish from North America, seen at Milwaukee Zoo
    Dermophis mexicanus - Mexican Burrowing Caecilian; a robust 'living salami' of a caecilian at St Louis Zoo
    Zhaoermia mangshanensis - Mang Mountain Pit-viper; also at St Louis & one of the world's most fantastic-looking snakes.
    There's more to zoo fauna than mammals, you know!
     
  19. Rookeyper

    Rookeyper Well-Known Member

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    Our new African Journey exhibit has ratels--very cool animals!
     
  20. Meg-T

    Meg-T Well-Known Member

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    Definately - I am also a huge reptile fan :p - I always enjoy the unusual reps around the UK, such the King Cobra at WMSP, unusual in zoos, but relatively common across the UK in private collections.