Join our zoo community

Ethiopian zoo at Unity Park is open

Discussion in 'Ethiopia' started by TheEthiopianWolf03, 22 Apr 2020.

  1. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 May 2017
    Posts:
    713
    Location:
    United States of America
    So the zoo opened in Ethiopia and it is located within Unity Park and from what I seen it doesn't look half bad. At least it is better than the old one. Here is the link to the main site. The zoo part is in Amharic which is still a challenge for me to read but once I have it translated I'll say what it says. The species listings are a bit inaccurate from what I can tell from a video of the zoo which I will put the link to as well.They claim that they have 135 animals with 35 species total. I hope they are successful with their work and become a beacon for wildlife in the region.

    Unity Park
     
    Batto, ZooBinh, Kifaru Bwana and 5 others like this.
  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    5,242
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Interesting "Nyalas" they've got there! :p

    Any Ethiopian endemics?
     
    TheEthiopianWolf03 likes this.
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    12 Aug 2008
    Posts:
    4,527
    Location:
    California, USA
    What I could see from the video were lions, wild dogs, giraffes (Southern?), zebra (Damara?), elands, wildebeest (species?), meerkats, ostriches, white-faced whistling ducks, and several bird species I could not identify in the large aviary.

    Does the zoo have any other megafauna species? Elephants, rhinos, hippos, crocodiles, etc.? Any primates or reptiles?
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2020
    TheEthiopianWolf03 likes this.
  4. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    9,010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Any information on who is guiding zoo management and husbandry practice.
    The keeping staff procedures and the exhibits do give an impression of well managed and much improved zoo.

    I believe the re-opening of Addis Ababa Zoo was a project primarily pushed by Zoo Leipzig and providing assistance of the years since it was first planned to have an updated facility.

    Specieswise: all young animals, but surely not many are local endemics. As to collection of 35 species and 135 individuals: where did you get that from?
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2020
    TheEthiopianWolf03 likes this.
  5. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    9,010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    This was last year's report on the Addis Ababa Zoo:


    The PM Ahmed Abiy explained the plans for Menelik Palace and surrounding park in September 2019. I am sorry it is all in Amharic ...!

    Link:

    Allthough, a tad touristy this also gives an impression of Unity Park and the new zoo. Right at the start and towards the end.

    Link:
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2020
    TheEthiopianWolf03 likes this.
  6. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    2,434
    Location:
    London, UK
    I suppose they got the first letter right and 'y' is only 4 letters after 'u'
     
    TheEthiopianWolf03 likes this.
  7. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    9,010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    I am not sure what you meant to say with "interesting" nyala. It looks by the video that these are indeed southern nyala

    According to the masterplan that was circulated some years previously the intention was to have mountain nyala and reedbuck in the zoo for display. It has been discussed in 2 previous threads, but I will relink it here:

    Concept of New Addis Ababa Zoo

    I can think of several reasons or issues why at the outset of the zoo opening they might have chosen to start with the surrogate southern nyala in the absence of effective capacity to capture mountain nyala from the wild protected populations in Bale or Simen as well as the staff being on a learning experience dealing with so many wild animal species for the first time.

    I do find the new zoo worth all the effort and hope it will set new standards in East Africa for wild animal ex situ. In a South nation behest with a wide variety of development problems, frequent hunger and civil strife and - remember - a nation that is at the bottom of the Poverty Index having a zoo like the new Addis Ababa Zoo is some achievement!

    The nearest example I can think of is the Ugandan Entebbe Wildlife Center.
     
    TheEthiopianWolf03 and kiang like this.
  8. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    18 Jun 2011
    Posts:
    2,434
    Location:
    London, UK
    Birdsandbats was referring to the photo of a Nubian (?) ibex labelled as a 'Nyala' at
    Unity Park
     
    TheEthiopianWolf03 likes this.
  9. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    9,010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    I watched the video and could not see any ibex nor a reference to this species at all!
    So, what is his source then other than the video?

    Maybe, TheEthiopianWolf03 can personally elucidate his source or present the link!
     
  10. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    3,423
    Location:
    New York, USA
    It is being run by an international firm that sets up and runs zoos and the like. ZoOceanarium
    Here's an aerial shot
    Awel on Twitter
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2020
  11. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    23 Jan 2008
    Posts:
    3,423
    Location:
    New York, USA
    From an Ethiopian culture website (page now gone):
    "Unity Park Zoo is open to visitors from today.

    Today, visitors to the park are said to be visiting the zoo.

    The Unity Zoo has been organized to collect 37 mammals and bird species.
    Currently, giraffes, white lizards, wolves, ostriches, marshes, salads, zebras, coyotes, turtles, Torah horses, and other animals have entered the zoo and are open to visitors.
    Recently, cheetahs, white rhinoceros, giraffes, baboons, and other mammals, monkeys and birds have been reported to enter the zoo.
    From today, information from the park shows that you can visit the park in addition to other tourist destinations."

    Some pictures
    Facebook
     
    Last edited: 22 Apr 2020
  12. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 May 2017
    Posts:
    713
    Location:
    United States of America
    From what I could gather there doesn't seem to be any serious endemics which is probably smart in the long run with the small zoo having the crowd pleasing animals first which brings in money and then they could start with endemics. Since there is limited husbandry on Ethiopian endemics it is going to be a challenge anyways. And yeah "Nyala" in Amharic tends to be a blanket term for some spiral horned antelopes from what I understand.

    I remember hearing there are future plans for crocodiles and hippos. There are probably primates since the species that live in the area are somewhat common but I don't have any proof to back that up. If they do it is probably geladas, hamadryas, or girvets. I'd put my money on geladas and girvets since those species were living in the old zoo. Reptile houses aren't a big thing in African zoos so I highly doubt that there will be one.

    So I think you are pretty spot on with the list but here is a list from what I could see myself. I did a lot of digging for this list and it was a bit of a headache but this is what I could find:

    African Lion (Two different groups and exhibits with the old black maned lions in the older exhibit built a while back and the younger group in the zoo area. This younger group seems to be the white colored morph.)
    African wild dogs (Looks like a pair and not a group but I can fact check this later)
    Meerkats
    Blue wildebeest
    Southern Nyala
    Plains Zebra
    Common Eland
    Girrafe (Either it is the southern species or the nubian one but I think the former is more likely)
    Greater Kudu*
    Impala*
    Gemsbok*
    Greater Flamingo
    Marabou Stork (Can't tell if wild or zoo animals but I saw some chicks in one image. They share an exhibit with the flamingos but I also saw them in the big herbivore exhibit in the video with the ostriches. These birds are as common in Addis as pigeons in New York especially if you go to the outskirts of the city so I am not 100% sure if they are supposed to even be there.)
    Black crowned night heron*
    Cattle egret
    Wattled ibis (An endemic but one that is common in the region)
    African spoonbill*
    An unknown bycanistes hornbill (Maybe trumpeter?)*
    White cheeked turaco*
    White crested turaco*
    Plantain-eater (Can't tell which species)
    White faced whistling ducks
    Red cheeked cordon-bleu
    Grey crowned crane*
    Lapwing (Can't tell if endemic species or the white crowned lapwing. You can see them walking in the background in the shot with the ducks in the video link)
    Vulturine Guineafowl

    There are a few other bird species but the image of the signage is too blurry for me to tell. It is on Facebook so if anyone wants to give the others a go here is the link: Unity Park Ethiopia - አንድነት ፓርክ ኢትዮጵያ

    I also remember seeing the Prime Minister pose in front of an aquarium with fake coral on Instagram showing off the park. So I think there is also a small aquarium but I have zero idea what animals are in there.
     
    Kifaru Bwana likes this.
  13. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 May 2017
    Posts:
    713
    Location:
    United States of America
    Like I said I don't think there are any of the "big 5" endemics at the zoo right now (Geladas, Ethiopian wolf, Walia ibex, Mountian Nyala, and Menelik's bushbuck). I don't think the zoos has any ibex species right now nor have I said there was one :D. All my sources are the site itself, their facebook, their instagram, that video, and other images of the zoo that I can find online.
     
    Kifaru Bwana likes this.
  14. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    5,242
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Marshes and salads? Those are odd things to exhibit. ;)
     
    Zooplantman likes this.
  15. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    24,256
    Location:
    the world of tomorrow
    The link is literally in the first post of the thread, and repeated in Dassie rat's post to which you replied...
     
  16. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 May 2017
    Posts:
    713
    Location:
    United States of America
    Forgot to mention that the animals with "*" are ones that I could not find any photographic proof of them being in the zoo other than signage. Also has anyone noticed the large amounts of South African animals at the zoo? Is it because most African animals are from the southern region of Africa in the zoo world or am I just a bit confused. They even plan on adding white rhinos in the future also according to the facebook page.
     
  17. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2019
    Posts:
    92
    Location:
    USA
    South African ungulates are very easy to source due to the large private game ranching industry in that country as well as Namibia and Botswana. This results in many wildlife attractions, including zoos, private reserves, and national parks, using South Africa for source populations even if outside of species' original ranges. Good examples are Kissama (Quicama) National Park in Angola, and Fathala Reserve in Senegal. Both of these are the main easily accessible "big game" viewing sites in their respective countries and feature various non-native species such as Southern Giraffe and Burchell's Zebra instead of, say, Giant Eland or Giant Sable Antelope.
     
  18. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    9,010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Given the UAE base of the overseeing management company ZoOceanarium - which I checked and could not find any more information other than a few headings with a very limited amount of photographic material nor a portfolio - most if not all hard to come by local species have (sadly) been replaced with southern African wildlife. The wildlife could either have been directly bought at auction in South Africa and/or via the UAE.

    Whereas the initial strategy in part is understandable since the zoo is in start up mode, I have my reservations as to the educational and conservation value of the whole operation. I also seriously wonder why the well planned zoo design concept (written up as an assistance Leipzig-Addis Ababa partnership has been departed from. Maybe, it is early days ..., but I do wonder where the zoo ended up like it looks right now.

    In one of the earlier briefs the manager reported that they were setting up 6 different zones in the zoo - as per the original concept mentioned here -, but where is the evidence now? The rhino and I thought cheetah were supposed to come in shortly (probably also imported southern cheetah, although locally Ethiopian confiscated northern cheetah are screaming for good housing facilities).

    In my personal view the new Addis Ababa should be a showcase of Ethiopia's rich wildlife and botanical heritage and a window on opportunities for ecotourism and wildlife viewing throughout the country (which is at the moment only a small part of the tourism program on offer with just snippets while it could be so much more). More importantly, for local awareness building and pride in Ethiopia's natural and cultural heritage for your average Ethiopian citizens (at least those around capital Addis and surrounding areas) would be of major importance. Care for the wild after all starts at home!

    The plantain eater is the Eastern plantain eater, so that is a local species.
    African Bird Club

    @Chlidonias, I clicked on the video link which took me to YouTube. Tried to surf back from there to a site with Unity Park on it and it appears there are actually 2 sites to confuse matterst. This morning with further info I got to the right place at once.


    I found on this second Unity Park website this bird interesting large aviary photo. Whereas it is an overview photo, it has all the labelling in front of the exhibit on it:
    Unity Park Ethiopia - አንድነት ፓርክ ኢትዮጵያ

    I have listed them from 1 to 20 in order from the label on the left end side top left to top right, below left to below right and over to the label on the right end side again same procedure.

    With my own good knowledge of bird species of the region N-E Africa and the help of the local Helm Field Guide I tried to identify the lot. I came up with this provisional listing:
    1. black-crowned night heron
    2. cattle egret
    3. African spoonbill - ? question mark
    4. bald ibis - ? question mark, I am guessing .. with that blurry picture
    5. white-crested turaco
    6. white-cheeked turaco
    7. eastern plantaineater
    8. .... red billed hornbill (out of range) - ?? one of the small Tockus species
    9. Ruppell's glossy starling - ? question mark
    10. African orange-bellied parrot
    11. ??? - for the love of the world ... a ground dwelling bird species (quail ..), the photo is so damn impossibly blurry and out of focus that it is quite difficult to glean much detail from it to begin to identify the species.
    12. vulturine guineafowl
    13. white-faced whistling duck
    14. lesser moorhen
    15. Bruce's green pigeon - ?? question mark
    16. grey-headed gull - ? question mark
    17. black headed weaver (out-of-range) - ? question mark
    18. grey crowned crane (out-of-range)
    19. African wattled lapwing - ? question mark
    20. wattled ibis

    Feel free to add on or to rectify ... where appropriate.
     
  19. Kifaru Bwana

    Kifaru Bwana Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    25 Jan 2006
    Posts:
    9,010
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Holland
    Angola has imported southern African wildlife to restock national parks for species that were lost. A second objective had been to increase the attractiveness of their national parks for potential visitors and eco-tourism. They never ever imported giant sable antelope as these occur in 2 parks that have been set up in the past to conserve this magnificent and local species. The latest reports on developments seem encouraging for their recovery, although illegal entry into national parks, enforcement over large areas and hunting and trapping and woodcutting remain big challenges for the national park service.

    Senegal is and has been an outlier and whereas their reserves have been primarily set up for the western giant eland - no imports never mind -, at one of these facilities to boost attractiveness to potential visitors out-of-range species have been re-introduced. My personal views on this should be well known among our community as it does not square up with any basic IUCN criteria for sound re-introduction practice. The species re-introduced from Southern Africa at the top of my head have been a.o. white rhino, southern giraffe and several other hoof stock. Must check that up again though.

    Cheers to you all!

    Open to and thank you for any further comments or discourse.
     
  20. TheEthiopianWolf03

    TheEthiopianWolf03 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    3 May 2017
    Posts:
    713
    Location:
    United States of America
    Just thought of something. Ethiopia is a landlocked country that hasn't had a real coastline since the independence of Eritrea since 1992. What kind of animals would they even put in the aquarium? Don't get me wrong I know there are some aquariums that are not near oceans but this one isn't near a body of water of any kind. What do you all think will be housed in there?

    Also read into zoOceanarium, apparently they worked on some sites in Dubai such as the safari park and the Al Ain zoo as well as the St. Louis aquarium according to ZooLex. While this isn't telling what is planned for the zoo in Ethiopia maybe if someone were to email the company directly we could get some answers. I plan to do that and I will post what I get if I do get a response.
     
    Giant Eland and Kifaru Bwana like this.