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Fixing Bannerghatta Bio Park

Discussion in 'India' started by Junklekitteb, 7 Apr 2020.

  1. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

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    This was originally from a fantasy zoo thread, but I'm bored so I decided to elevate it to a full thread. This is both a review and a hypothetical fixing of the park's major problems.

    My local zoo, Bannerghatta Bio Park, has improved quite a bit since I last visited, but certainly has a ways to go before I would consider it a ‘good’ zoo. As you can see from the map above, a lot of things are still under construction or not even started to be built. I have marked these with a red dot, I will go over the zoo based on the following categories: primates, carnivores, herbivores, birds and ectotherms. Before I go into detail, there is one major change very sorely required; the complete demolition of the row of exhibits I call the ‘northern cage block’ (marked in blue). It consists of a series of outdated, small, bare mesh or chain link aviary like structures, connected by small yards which are blocked of to the animals. The primates used to be housed here but have thankfully got a new exhibit. Most of the animals still exhibited here are going to probably be moved out in the future, facilitating its demolition. I would replace it with a row of large, well planted 'aviaries' for other animals across the zoo to move into.

    Primates

    Compared to their previous home in the northern cage block, the new exhibits for the rhesus macaque and grey langur (unknown sp., probably northern) are far more superior, large, open air exhibits with lots of climbing structures. The newly acquired pig-tailed langur and Phayre’s leaf monkey are also housed in similar exhibits. Bar the rhesus exhibit, there is no mesh and glass obstructing photography. The leaf monkeys however are seemingly much more arboreal, and the large trees in their exhibits have been cutdown leaving almost no shade forcing them to hide under the tiny shade structures. I would move these to an 'aviary' in place of the former cage block. There is also a single lion tailed macaque housed near the bird exhibits (marked LTM on the map) which I would move there as well as its current exhibit is out of place and lacks any kind of enrichment.

    There is also a solitary Hamadryas baboon in one of the northern cages, completely without enrichment of any kind, in far too small a cage. I would go as far as calling it the worst exhibit in the zoo. I would either move it to another zoo with other baboons or build a new, larger exhibit for it near the under construction canid row at the bottom left of the map, as well as acquiring new baboons.

    Overall Rating: 5/10. While a huge improvement from before, the new exhibits are still somewhat lacking.

    Carnivores

    The Bio Park also contains a safari park and rescue centre. Most of the carnivores were and still are housed here, including lions, tigers and sloth bears. Most of those in the zoo were smaller species. Recently, however a pair of tigers and a pair of lions were moved in. The tigers got a brand new, fairly decent exhibit, whereas the lions simply moved into a partitioned area of the enormous aviary like structure that serves as the leopard exhibit. This means the leopards get hardly any space compared to before. I would move the lions to a brand new exhibit across from the tigers, opening up the rest of the aviary back to the leopards. The Himalayan black bears previously lived in a tiny, octagonal monstrosity of mesh and concrete. While an outdoor area has been added (quite a nice one, to my eyes) the monstrous old enclosure which looks like it jumped from the 1800’s is still used as a holding area for one of the bears (which was pacing madly), presumably while the other is confined to the outdoor area. I would demolish entirely and send one of the bears to another zoo.

    Most of the small carnivores live in small, overcrowded exhibits. The canids are already being moved to new enclosures as shown on the map, but their old exhibits near the northern cage block (unmarked on the map) are small, and the move is a great improvement. The cage ‘complex’ near the bears is among the worst. It is marked ‘toddy cat’ on the map, and consists of six tiny cages containing a variety of animals, but only the common palm civets and zebra finches are directly viewable. The best you can do to see the other animals is try to peer at them from the path on the other side? I would move the civets to one of the 'aviaries' built to replace the northern cage block. The grey mongooses, hidden away in the same block as the civets, and the jungle cats housed in a northern cage, would go to the same renovated 'aviaries' (I know they are not for birds, but it’s the best logical word for the exhibits I imagine). I would leave the wolves as they are, although the exhibit is too rocky and too small.

    Overall Rating: 3/10. Most of the exhibits ate quite poor compared to some of the other zoos in India.


    To be continued...
     
    Last edited: 7 Apr 2020
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  2. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

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    Herbivores

    Not surprisingly, most of the zoos herbivores are housed in the safari park, but a few species are also present in the zoo. Most are, naturally, exotic species that are somewhat harder to house in the 'natural' environment of the adjadent nature reserve the safari represents. The exhibits are generally not great, but better than the carnivores. The zebras are in far too small a pen, unless it extends beyond what i could observe of it. The giraffe is solitary, but in quite a large pen. My knowledge of mixed exhibits is poor, but I don't get why they cannot be combined, along with the proposed ostriches next door. The elephants were three young males, probably seperated from the main herd at the safari park. The 'exhibit' looked more like a holding pen, with concrete and iron fencing. I realky know nothing about elephants so I won't comment. The deer park was undergoing renovation, bur I believe it houses axis and hog deer. The only exhibit I would call bad is the hippo exhibit, consisting of three fairly small concrete pens with water in front and a night room at the back. There was some sort of reed bed in front and out of reach of the animals, the only vegetation in exhibit. Even this is an improvement to the concrete maze that consisted their old exhibit, with not even enough water for them to submerge fully. Nonetheless, I would give them a brand new exhibit anyday. The nilgai exhibit seemed okay to me.

    Overall Rating: 5/10. Onpar with the primate exhibits, neither terrible nor perfect. The safari park's herbivore areas are far better.
     
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  3. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

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    Birds

    Most Indian zoos are swarming with birds, and this is no exception. Most of the zoo's flying birds are either parrots, housed in a double row of aviaries marked on the map by a lorikeet (ironically the lorikeets are housed closer to the peafowl) or waterbirds housed in the large wetland aviary towards the right of the map. There are also several medium sized ones for larger birds like peafowl and hornbill, the afore mentioned lorikeet and conure aviaries, which are rather dingy, and another double row (i.e. two rows of cages facing opposite directions with a staff passage in between) with pheasants. I believe I noted 28 species bar the waterbirds. Most of the exhibits are rather small, and also bare, especially the pheasantry, where there was no vegetation in the exhibits, and were rather grimy looking. The parrot row was slightly better, with planting and various enrichment items, although they could certainly be improved. The peafowl were, as with most Indian zoos, in an aviary, with a solitary black crowned crane mixed in (o_O), and the directly two adjacent aviaries holding white peafowl and a great hornbill. Again, could be improved greatly. The lorikeets, sun conures and red lories were held in a bunch of truly filthy looking, dark aviaries not too far from them. One of the worse bird exhibits overall.
    There was a good variety, including some new species for me such as blue crowned pigeons and crowned cranes, as well as several macaws, cockatoos, parakeets and other parrots (I will eventually post a species list). Among the pheasants there was a surplus of silver pheasants, males especially, to the point that some the extras were transfered to the above mentioned toddy cat cage block. The best exhibit of the lot was the wetland aviary, which was formerly walkthrough, but this is closed, probably because the roof of the walkthrough tunnel protecting guests from the pelicans broke.

    Overall Rating: 6/10. Slightly better than some of the other categories because if the improved diversity, but exhibitry was poor.
     
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  4. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

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    Reptiles

    All the reptiles in the zoo are housed in the 'reptile park', which instead of having glass vivariums, houses the reptiles, mostly native, in mesh 'aviaries' with low dry moats I believe are to ensure the keepers safety. The substrate is mostly grass and leaf litter, with many hides and live plants, although not lush or 'rainforesty'. The snakes and lizards are well lit and quite large, and seem adequate. There is however a bizarre mix of Bengal Monitor, Green Iguana and Red Sand Boa, which despite its strangeness, was okay, as the monitors were small individuals. I would leave these largely unchanged, as I am not sure how to replace them if I could.
    The turtles, however are much worse, as their exhibits are directly adjacent to the birds, despite this not how it is being shown on the map. They are much more shadowy and overcrowded, with a couple dozen animals in each. They are also unsigned except for the star tortoises. I would move these to proper pens anywhere on the property well lit.
    The porcupines (which I forgot to mention while doing the herbivores) are also in a similar dark little cage not too far from the turtles. It is devoid of foliage or enrichment, and contains a concrete burrow for the animals. All of them were hiding when I visited. I would give them anything better, perhaps one of those aviaries I proposed to build up north.
    Then there are the crocodilians. They are all helpfully marked 'crocodile' on the map, but are actually spectacled caimans near the pheasants, Gharials up north (which I mistakenly marked as not complete), and Morelet's crocodile towards the monkeys.
    The caiman exhibit is rather shallow and seemed to have rather many and the Gharials were in a near looking but rather small exhibit. The lone (female) Morelet's was in a massive bamboo filled enclosure with hardly any water! It was probably intended for more individuals or another species. The lack of Mugger crocodiles surprised me. Most of these exhibits were poor looking and rather scattered about, so I would move them to a new set of proper exhibits up north once the old ones are demolished.
    Overall Rating: 4/10. Not including the porcupines, which are obviously not reptiles, there is almost a balance of 'okay' enclosures and bad ones.

    Unfortunately, I'm not done, as I forgot a number of species in each category. I will cover them next time, and alter the ratings accordingly. The species list will come soon.
     
    Last edited: 10 Apr 2020
  5. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

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    Birds- take two
    I didn't do the birds full justice on my first try so here's take two. If following the arrows, the first birds one would see are
    • Budgerigar (Melopsittacus undulatus)
    They are marked rather foolishly as ‘Love Birds’, but are signed correctly inside the zoo. The exhibit is quite large compared to those I saw in Mysore and Pilikula zoos, since its previous inhabitants were white morph peafowl. It is a bit dark and devoid of plants however, and I would like to see that changed. The next birds would be
    • Zebra Finch (Taeniopygia guttata)
    They are next to the ‘toddy cats’ or civets in their cage block of six. It is little more than a public holding area, and also contains two male
    • Silver Pheasant (Lophura nycthemera)
    These are simply extras which could no longer be housed in pheasantry as they ran out of space. Since the toddy cat cage block would be the first thing to go if I had the choice, I would move them to another zoo. Next up are
    • Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae)
    • Ostrich (Struthio camelus)
    They are in somewhat small but otherwise seemingly adequate pens near the deer park. The northern cage block also has some birds.
    • Darwin’s Rhea (Rhea pennata)
    • Indian Eagle Owl (Bubo bengalensis)
    As with the rest of the exhibits in the northern cage block, they are ugly and inadequate. The rheas are in an aviary, but are thankfully being moved out as the map shows. I would move owl into the lion-tailed macaque exhibit once it has been emptied, as its current exhibit looks kind of like a pile of rubbish.
    The next major bird exhibits are at the part marked ‘birds‘ on the map. It is actually two different sets of exhibits. The first set is for lager bi
    • Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus) and Black Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina)
    • White Morph Indian Peafowl (Pavo cristatus)
    • Great Hornbill (Buceros bicornis)
    The other set of aviaries are a little further down the road past the ‘LTM‘.A set of 10 to 12 planted (but not lush), well lit parrot aviaries marked by a lorikeet which contain the following
    • Yellow Morph Cockatiel (Nymphicus hollandicus)
    • Ringneck (Psittacula krameri), Alexandrine (Psittacula eupatria) and Hybrid Lovebird (Agapornis)
    • Western Goura (Goura cristata)
    • Green-winged Macaw (Ara chloropterus)
    • Grey Parrot (Psittacus erithacus)
    • Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao)
    • Blue-and-yellow Macaw (Ara ararauna)
    • Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)
    • Eclectus Parrot (Eclectus roratus)
    • Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla)
    • Palm Cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus)
    To say the least, these are far better than the other aviaries at the zoo, although a bit small and lacking in other ways. I would leave these,along with the ratite cages, untouched as realistically the zoo would be on a tight budget. I’ll stop here for now and continue on a part two tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2020
  6. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

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    After crossing the 'reptile park' you soon come to the pheasantry. It consists of two rows of aviaries, rather like the parrot row, but are a lot darker and bare of greenery. Most of the cells contain silver pheasant, of which there seems to be a surplus. They also contain the following
    • Red Junglefowl (Gallus gallus)
    • Lady Amherst's Pheasant (Chrysolophus amherstiae)
    • Yellow Morph Golden Pheasant (Chrysolophus pictus)
    • Quail Sp., mixed with silver pheasant in one of the cells.
    • Orange-winged Amazon (Amazona amazonica)
    The aviaries here are worse than most of the others, but not as bad as the three tiny ones across from the caimans, not far from the future rheas. They are similarly bare, but are visibly filthy. They contain
    • Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus)
    • Sun Parakeet (Aratinga solstitialis)
    • Red Lory (Eos bornea)
    These two complexes I would probably demolish and rebuild as larger, cleaner, well lit and planted exhibits. The last birds in the zoo are housed in the wetland aviary. It is quite large and formerly walkthrough, although it is now closed. It contains
    • Black-crowned Night Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)
    • Spot-billed Pelican (Pelecanus philippensis)
    • Black-headed Ibis (Threskiornis melanocephalus)
    • White Stork (Ciconia ciconia)
    • Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala)
    • Domestic Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)
    • Chinese Goose (Anser cygnoides
    • Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
    It also contains Indian flapshell turtles, but that is irrelevant here. It is no better than the other walkthrough aviaries in India, but I would leave it as it is.

    Overall Rating:5/10. Not that different from my previous rating, most enclosures are okay for the standards of Indian zoos.
     
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  7. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Species List
    If following the arrows on the map.
    Mammals:
    • Grant's Zebra (Equus quagga boehmi)
    • Giraffe (Giraffa)
    • Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
    • Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus)
    • Indian Grey Mongoose (Herpestes edwardsi), off show or possibly wild
    • Himalayan Black Bear (Ursus thibetanus laniger)
    • Axis Deer (Axis axis)
    • Indian Hog Deer (Hyelaphus porcinus)
    • Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius)
    • Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus), three juvenile males
    • Indian Grey Wolf (Canis lupus pallipes)
    • Nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus)
    • Golden Jackal (Canis aureus)
    • Striped Hyena (Hyaena hyaena hyaena)
    • Dhole (Cuon alpinus)
    • Lion (Panthera leo)
    • Indian Leopard (Panthera pardus fusca)
    • Jungle Cat (Felis chaus affinis)
    • Hamadryas Baboon (Papio hamadryas)
    • Lion-tailed Macaque (Macaca silenus)
    • Indian Crested Porcupine (Hystrix indica)
    • Rhesus Macaque (Macaca mulatta)
    • Northern Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca leonina)
    • Phayre's Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus phayrei)
    • Grey Langur (Semnopithecus)
     
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  8. Junklekitteb

    Junklekitteb Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Species List
    If following the arrows on the map.
    Birds: see above
    Reptiles:
    • Gharial (Gavialis gangeticus)
    • Indian Rock Python (Python molurus)
    • Russell's Viper (Daboia russelii)
    • Indian Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa)
    • Indian Cobra (Naja naja)
    • King Cobra (Ophiophagus hannah)
    • Bengal Monitor, (Varanus bengalensis) Green Iguana and Red Sand Boa (Iguana iguana)
    • Red-eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans)
    • Tricarinate Hill Turtle (Melanochelys tricarinata)
    • Indian Black Turtle (Melanochelys trijuga)
    • Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska)
     
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