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Minnesota Zoo Former Species of the Minnesota Zoo

Discussion in 'United States' started by Dhole dude, 20 Nov 2021.

  1. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    I’ve had this idea for a while, although I haven’t yet put it into motion. I will be trying my best to compile all of the known former species held at the zoo. As a clarification, most fish and invertebrates will not count, As the collection fluctuates to much for anyone to keep track of. I will go section by section, decade by decade, naming each former species I know of, and label what I know about their time at the zoo. Anyone who could be able help would be greatly appreciated! I will start off with the old Discovery Trail sometime soon.
     
  2. MidwestFan

    MidwestFan Well-Known Member

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    I sure do miss the belugas, the dolphins, and lions from the Minnesota Zoo!
     
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  3. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    Discovery Trail
    This list is most certainly incomplete, so any additional information would be greatly appreciated!

    New Guinea Singing Dog
    Phase-in year: early-mid eighties?
    Phase-out year: ???
    I don’t no much about this species time at the zoo, other than it was exhibited somewhere in the discovery trail at some point in the eighties

    Black Swan
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Black Swans appears to have been featured in the discovery trail, according to an old hour-long WCCO special. I am not sure when this species was originally phased out, but the species was brought back in 2018 for the temporary Kangaroo Crossing walk-through exhibit. This species was phased to build Llama Trek.

    Common Loon???
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    I believe these were displayed in the waterfowl exhibit on the Discovery Trail at some point in time, although this is a bit of a long shot.

    Albert’s Squirrel
    Phase-in year: early-mid eighties?
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were exhibited in the ZooLab during the eighties at some point.

    Woodrat
    Phase-in year: early-mid eighties
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were also exhibited in the ZooLab at some point in the eighties

    Mudskipper
    Phase-in year: early-mid eighties
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were also exhibited in the ZooLab at some point in the eighties

    Leopard Gecko
    Phase-in year: early-mid eighties
    Phase-out year: mid nineties?
    This species was exhibited in the ZooLab in the eighties & nineties, and this species might still be used as a program animal.

    Slender-Tailed Meerkat
    Phase-in year: 2002
    Phase-out year: 2009
    This species was exhibited where the current Woodland Adventure until some idiot decided it was ok to let his daughter pet the Meerkats, which yielded predictable results. One of the Meerkats bit the girl, which ended in all of the mob unfortunately having to be euthanized.
     
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  4. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    Ocean Trail
    This will be fairly short, as most species exhibited here were moved over to Discovery Bay in 1994, & continue to be displayed there nowadays.

    Beluga Whale
    Phase-in year: 1977
    Phase-out year: 1987
    Beluga Whales were the zoos star attraction on opening day, and were incredibly popular among locals. The two whales on exhibit where male “Big Mouth” and female “Little Girl”, who were captured in Hudson Bay shortly before the zoo opened. Sometime in the eighties, Big Mouth developed a disease in his jawbone, which prompted the zoos eventually decision to move both whales were transferred to SeaWorld San Diego. Little Girl died of cardiovascular colapse shortly after the move, while Big Mouth eventually passed away of his bone disease in 1990. The former Beluga was used by the Dolphins until they moved to Discovery Bay in the nineties. The tank is now used as an indoor amphitheater.

    Garibaldi Damselfish
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1994?
    This species was displayed in the “Kelp Forest” tank sometime in the eighties.

    Flounder
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1994?
    This species was exhibited in the “North Atlantic” tank sometime in the eighties

    Cod
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1994?
    This Species was exhibited in the “North Atlantic” tank sometime in the eighties

    Lobster

    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1994?
    This species was exhibited somewhere on the Ocean Trail sometime in the eighties.
     
  5. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

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    A few notes on Discovery and Ocean trails:

    -The Singing Dogs were kept in the Children's Zoo (current site of Russia's Grizzly Coast) in a domestic dog-type setup.

    -Other notable Children's Zoo inhabitants no longer at the zoo include llama, yak, donkey, blue peafowl, and red junglefowl.

    -I vaguely recall seeing loons in the beaver exhibit on the MN trail, not the Discovery Trail.

    -Abert's Squirrel, Woodrat, and Mudskipper would have been in the Discovery Center, which was a standalone building in the Children's Zoo, not the Zoolab. The Discovery Center building was eventually turned into classroom space then demolished to make way for Russia's Grizzly Coast. I recall seeing a domestic goldfish exhibit in there but not any of those other species.

    -The Zoolab itself had many smaller species, a lot of which were typical education animals (chinchillas, parrots, boa constrictors, etc.) that are still in the zoomobile collection, similar to the Leopard Gecko. A few notable species I don’t think they have any more are Lionfish, Blue Dartfrog, various small finches, Keel-billed Toucan, and Six-banded Armadillo.

    -The former Meerkat exhibit also had Aardvark in the indoor portion. Other species exhibited in the indoor space were, in backwards order, Red Panda (most of 1990s), Koala (late 80s-early 90s), and Golden Snub-nosed Monkey (temporary, 1987). The outdoor Meerkat exhibit was formerly a Tiger maternity den.

    -I think the Ocean Trail actually stayed open until Discovery Bay opened in 1997.

    -the whale pool also had seals in the early 1980s. Definitely Harbor, and maybe Gray.

    -The Kelp tank had Leopard Shark (still at zoo), Horn Shark, California Moray, and a couple other species in addition to the Garibaldi.

    -The North Atlantic tank had at least Striped Bass in addition to the listed species.

    -Other memorable former inhabitants of single-species tanks were Rainbow Parrotfish, Red-bellied Piranha, and Common Octopus.
     
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  6. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the additional information! I new about the Koalas & Snub-Nosed Monkeys, although I wasn’t aware of were they were exhibited in the zoo. I remember hearing about the Harbor Seals, Lionfish, & piranha somewhere, although I couldn’t remember where I heard it from.
     
  7. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    Updated lists for the Discovery & Ocean Trails.

    Discovery Trail

    New Guinea Singing Dog
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were exhibited in the Children’s Zoo at some point in the eighties

    Domestic Yak
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were exhibited at the Children’s Zoo at some point in the eighties.

    Domestic Donkey
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    Domestic Donkeys were exhibited at the Children’s Zoo sometime in the eighties

    Red Junglefowl
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    Red Junglefowl were exhibited in the Children’s Zoo sometime in the eighties

    Blue Peafowl
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    Blue Peafowl were likely free-roaming throughout the Children’s Zoo sometime in the eighties

    Black Swan
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Black Swans appears to have been featured in the discovery trail, according to an old hour-long WCCO special. I am not sure when this species was originally phased out, but the species was brought back in 2018 for the temporary Kangaroo Crossing walk-through exhibit. This species was phased to build Llama Trek.

    Common Loon
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    I believe these were displayed in the waterfowl exhibit on the Discovery Trail at some point in time, although this is a bit of a long shot.

    Albert’s Squirrel
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were exhibited in the Discovery Center during the eighties at some point.

    Woodrat
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were also exhibited in the Discovery Center at some point in the eighties

    Mudskipper
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    These were also exhibited in the Discovery Center at some point in the eighties

    Leopard Gecko
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: mid nineties?
    This species was exhibited in the ZooLab in the eighties & nineties, and this species might still be used as a program animal.

    Lionfish
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    Lionfishes were exhibited in the ZooLab in the eighties & nineties

    Slender-Tailed Meerkat
    Phase-in year: 2002
    Phase-out year: 2009
    This species was exhibited where the current Woodland Adventure until some idiot decided it was ok to let his daughter pet the Meerkats, which yielded predictable results. One of the Meerkats bit the girl, which ended in all of the mob unfortunately having to be euthanized.

    Aardvark
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1987?
    Aardvarks were exhibited in an indoor exhibit behind the former Meerkat exhibit. They were replaced by Golden Snub-Nosed Monkeys in 1987.

    Golden Snub-Nosed Monkey
    Phase-in year: 1987
    Phase-out year: 1988?
    Golden Snub-Nosed Monkeys replaced Aardvarks in either 1987 or 1988, and were on a temporary loan for a year. They were replaced by Queensland Koalas in 1989

    Queensland Koala
    Phase-in year: 1989
    Phase-out year: 1989
    Queensland Koalas replaced Golden Snub-Nosed Monkeys in 1989, and were on exhibit for a single summer. The koalas went back to were they came from in the winter, & were replaced by Red Pandas.

    Ocean Trail
    This will be fairly short, as most species exhibited here were moved over to Discovery Bay in 1997 & continue to be displayed there nowadays.

    Beluga Whale
    Phase-in year: 1977
    Phase-out year: 1987
    Beluga Whales were the zoos star attraction on opening day, and were incredibly popular among locals. The two whales on exhibit where male “Big Mouth” and female “Little Girl”, who were captured in Hudson Bay shortly before the zoo opened. Sometime in the eighties, Big Mouth developed a disease in his jawbone, which prompted the zoos eventually decision to move both whales were transferred to SeaWorld San Diego. Little Girl died of cardiovascular colapse shortly after the move, while Big Mouth eventually passed away of his bone disease in 1990. The former Beluga was used by the Dolphins until they moved to Discovery Bay in the nineties. The tank is now used as an indoor amphitheater.

    Harbor Seal
    Phase-in year: early-mid eighties
    Phase-out year: 1987?
    Harbor seals were mixed with the Belugas in the eighties, and were phased out sometime before the belugas left

    Garibaldi Damselfish
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    This species was displayed in the “Kelp Forest” tank in the eighties & nineties.

    California Moray
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    California Morays were exhibited in the “Kelp Forest” tank in the eighties & nineties

    Flounder
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    This species was exhibited in the “North Atlantic” tank in the eighties & nineties

    Cod
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    This Species was exhibited in the “North Atlantic” tank in the eighties & nineties

    Striped Bass
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    Striped Bass were exhibited in the “North Atlantic” tank in the eighties & nineties

    Lobster
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    This species was exhibited somewhere on the Ocean Trail sometime in the eighties.

    Rainbow Parrotfish
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    Rainbow Parrotfish were exhibited in a stand-alone exhibit on the Ocean Trail in the eighties & nineties

    Red-Bellied Piranha
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 1997?
    Red-Bellied Piranha were exhibited in a stand-alone exhibit along the Ocean Trail in the eighties & nineties.

    The Minnesota Trail will be next up.
     
  8. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

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    I don't think most of these dates are correct. Certainly the Aardvark (was mixed with Meerkats in the 2000s), Koala (was not a temporary exhibit, they were at the zoo until 1993 or 1994). Most of the others were not necessarily present when the zoo opened, since it opened with a limited collection and took a few years to build up.

    I'll provide a start on former MN trail species. Not all were kept at the same time, with lots of turnover in birds and fish especially:
    Mammals: Woodchuck, Southern Flying Squirrel, Eastern Cottontail, Jamaican Fruit Bat, Ermine, Raccoon, Eastern Spotted Skunk, Gray Fox, Swift Fox
    Birds: Wood Duck, Bobwhite, Ruffed Grouse, Barred Owl, Great Gray Owl, Long-eared Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Snowy Owl, Sora, American Golden Plover, Mourning Dove, Green Heron, Pileated Woodpecker, Downy Woodpecker, Blue Jay, Eastern Bluebird, American Robin, Hermit Thrush, Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Cardinal, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, American Redstart, Ovenbird
    Herps: Five-lined Skink, Western Hognose, Bullsnake, Timber Rattlesnake, Wood Frog, Gray Treefrog
    Fish: Orangespotted Sunfish, Burbot, Paddlefish, Brook Trout, Lake Trout, Clown Knifefish, Freshwater Stingray, Texas Cichlid, Swordtail, various native minnows/darters
     
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  9. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the additional information! The zoo’s website only mentions the Koalas stay in the summer of ‘89, so it’s interesting to hear that they were there for longer. I put question mark next to most of the dates, as it’s pretty hard to tell when each species arrived and/or left in the Eighties & Nineties.
    Wow! There were a lot more bird species than I would expect! AFAIK there is still a Western Hognose & a Bullsnake behind the scenes, along with one or two Snowy Owls.
     
  10. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I think you are right about those snakes. As for the birds, before the trail was renovated one of the indoor exhibits was a migratory bird aviary that held about 10 species at any one time and also had a fish pool. Since the birds were mostly native songbirds the set of species kept tended to vary from visit to visit.
     
  11. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Did the Minnesota Zoo have a temporary African savanna exhibit with giraffes, zebras, and ostriches at one time?

    I remember when I volunteered in the Sacramento Zoo education department in the 1980s there was a poster in the building for some reason from the Minnesota Zoo advertising that they had elephant rides. So apparently the Minnesota Zoo technically had elephants at some point visiting in the 1980s.
     
  12. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    For the summers in 2009, 2011, & 2012, the large Camel/Horse exhibit was a temporary African Savanna known as “Africa”.
     
  13. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    As a follow up, the African Elephants were apart of a temporary Elephant Ride attraction in the summer of 1986. The zoo also had plans for Asian Elephants in a Tropics Trail expansion, which unfortunately never came to fruition.
     
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  14. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

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    @Dhole dude is correct that they did these exhibits for three summers, actually in 2006, 2009, and 2013. They are pretty nicely documented in the AZA ungulate mixed species manual:
    Mixed Species Resources — AZA Ungulates
    Interestingly, the zoo actually owned the giraffes even though they never built a barn, I guess in anticipation of eventually doing the permanent Africa exhibit from the old master plan under the previous director.
     
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  15. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    Minnesota Trail

    Northern Raccoon

    Phase-in year: 2007?
    Phase-out year: 2020
    A Northern Raccoon was exhibited in the indoor cabin exhibit until it presumably passed away. It was replaced by a Virginia Opossum and a Striped Skunk

    Woodchuck
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2018 (sort of)
    Woodchucks were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe). There was a wild Woodchuck that lived just outside the Tropics Trail a few years ago, but it appears to no longer live there

    Southern Flying Squirrel
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Southern Flying Squirrels were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Eastern Spotted Skunk
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Eastern Spotted Skunks were exhibited in the nocturnal portion of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Eastern Cottontail
    Phase-in year:???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Eastern Cottontail were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Ermine
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Ermine were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Long-Tailed Weasel
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase out year: ???
    These were sometimes exhibited instead of Ermine in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail

    Jamaican Fruit Bat
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Jamaican Fruit Bats were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Gray Fox
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Gray Foxes were exhibited in the current Red Fox exhibit on the Minnesota Trail, and were later brought into the nocturnal section, which closed in 2007 (I believe)

    Swift Fox
    Phase- in year: ???
    Phase-out year: early-mid nineties
    Swift Foxes were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, and (correct me if I’m wrong) they were replaced by Gray Foxes in
    The late eighties-early nineties at some point.

    American Badger?
    Phase in year: 1978?
    Phase-out year: ???
    According to an old WCCO documentary on the zoo, American Badgers Were exhibited somewhere on the Minnesota Trail around the time of opening

    Eastern Saw-Wheat Owl
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Saw-Wheat Owls were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Barred Owl
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Barred Owls were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Great Grey Owl
    Phase-in year: 1978?
    Phase out year: early-mid nineties?
    Great Grey Owls were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Long-Eared Owl
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: ???
    Long-Eared owls were exhibited somewhere on the Minnesota Trail at some point in time.

    Blue Jay
    Phase-in year:???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Blue Jays were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Pileated Woodpecker
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    A Pileated Woodpecker was exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until in closed in 2019.

    Ruffed Grouse
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Ruffed Grouse were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until it closed in 2019

    Northern Cardinal
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Northern Cardinals were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until it closed in 2019


    American Robin

    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 20120
    American Robins were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until 2020

    Downy Woodpecker
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Downy Woodpeckers were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until it closed in 2019

    Song Sparrow

    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Song Sparrows were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until it closed in 2019

    Cedar Waxwing

    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Cedar Waxwings were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until it closed in 2019

    Baltimore Oriole
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Baltimore Orioles were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until it closed in 2019

    Rose-Breasted Grosbeak
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2019
    Rose-Breasted Grosbeaks were exhibited in the Minnesota Aviary until it closed in 2019

    Wood Duck
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: ???
    Wood Ducks were exhibited with the American Beavers at some point in time

    Other Former Bird Species
    .Sora
    .American Golden Plover
    .Mourning Dove
    .Green Heron
    .Eastern Bluebird
    .Hermit Thrush
    .Gray Catbird
    .Yellow Warbler
    .Yellow-rumped Warbler
    .American Redstart
    .Ovenbird

    Wood Frog
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Wood Frogs were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Timer Rattlesnake
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006?
    Timber Rattlesnakes were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Five-Lined Skink
    Phase-in year: ???
    Phase-out year: 2006
    Five-Lined Skinks were exhibited in the nocturnal section of the Minnesota Trail, which closed in 2006 (I believe)

    Former Fish Species
    .Orangespotted Sunfish
    .Burbot, Paddlefish
    .Brook Trout
    .Lake Trout
    .Clown Knifefish
    .Freshwater Stingray
    .Texas Cichlid
    .Swordtail
     
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  16. ParathePineapple

    ParathePineapple Well-Known Member

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    The Minnesota Zoo also had bottle nose dolphins until 2012 and were eventually replaced by Hawaiian Monk Seals.
     
  17. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    I am well aware of that. I vaguely remember going to see the dolphins when I was a young child, before I became interested in zoos. The Bottlenose Dolphins will be featured in the former species of Discovery Bay.
     
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  18. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

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    A couple of notes - the wood frogs and skinks were kept at some point in the existing reptile tanks after 2007. Wood frog was in the one that has a toad now, and skink in the bullfrog one. I don't think either was kept in the Minnesota Trail before the renovation, but wood frogs had also been kept previously in the Zoolab and in a temporary 1990s frog exhibit.

    The larger owls in the nocturnal section were Great Gray up to the mid-90s, then Barred in the later 90s, and Long-eared until 2006.

    Swift fox was kept sometime in the early 2000s.

    Also, there is an article about the beaver exhibit in the 1981 volume of International Zoo Yearbook. It lists the following species mix (some of which are still kept, but elsewhere):

    Beaver, Muskrat, Hooded Merganser, Wood Duck, Redhead, Green-winged Teal, Snowy Egret, Bank Swallow, Common Loon, Painted Turtle, Spiny Softshell, Blanding's Turtle, Tiger Salamander, Leopard Frog, Bluegill, Pumpkinseed, Bullhead, Carp, Fathead Minnow.

    I'm pretty sure the exhibit now uses chlorinated water which may be one reason why there are no longer any other species mixed with the beavers.
     
  19. CheeseChameleon1945

    CheeseChameleon1945 Well-Known Member

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    No idea how this thread slipped under my radar, especially since this being my local zoo!!!!

    So cool learning about these former kept species. The zoo would be a lot different now if it had those species that's for sure!

    I personally want Snub-Nosed monkeys because they word work well with the Zoos winter compatibility, joining the winter primates with the Snow monkeys.

    I also think some of the mammals such as the skunk and the ermine in Minnesota trails would be very nice to see.
     
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  20. Dhole dude

    Dhole dude Well-Known Member

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    I’m glad you like it :). Golden Snub Nosed Monkeys would be a nice addition, although almost impossible due to the diplomatic issue revolving around the species. I to would love to se have seen Spotted Skunks & especially Ermine (a species now virtually extinct in North American Zoos), as the zoo was one of the only places to successfully keep the species.