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Hippos in clear water

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by cliffxdavis, 10 Feb 2016.

  1. cliffxdavis

    cliffxdavis Well-Known Member

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    I really like to see a hippo underwater and this is easy when the water in the exhibit is filtered.

    Is there a zoo in the UK that does this or are they the UK hippos swimming in pools of hippo poo?

    Who has the best display? So far I thought Toledo zoo was the best I have seen.
     
  2. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    There is no zoo with underwater viewing facilities in the UK.
     
  3. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    It's only easy with very powerful filters :)

    Alan
     
  4. cliffxdavis

    cliffxdavis Well-Known Member

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    Quite so but it seems lots of zoos can do it. Penguins are nice but I would sooner see hippos. Maybe something for the future. Off to Valencia Bioparc soon. Will check out what they do there.
     
  5. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    And even a powerful filter isn't enough to get clear hippo water. It is also neccessary to get the hippos out of the water for the whole night-I like that, would be the same to keep chimps away from climbing trees for the night, to protect te trees-because the filters wouldn't make it to get the water clean until the first visitors arrive. The Us-Zoos also clean the pool regulary by hand, what means they have to change the water and using a filtartion system. Thats the reason why the water in Us-Hippos enclosures is really clear in compare to europe, but its costs a lot of extra money, and german zoo are not interested in giving much more money...so I think, underwater viewing is a nice thing, but it is defenitey to expensive for that effect-so thats why hippos are now almost gone from german zoos.
     
  6. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    Valencia have underwater viewing for their hippos in an area that's lovely for visitors but pretty dreadful from a welfare standpoint. I think that's true in general: these exhibits tend to be too small, especially the land area, with no provision for grazing or natural social groupings. As has been mentioned, they are also massively expensive to build/run and often the water is not sufficiently clear for it to work (see, for instance, Prague).

    Presumably Beauval will be the nearest zoo to you with underwater viewing for hippos when it opens in a few months. That exhibit looks like it will solve many of the issues outlined above. The long-awaited Zambezi River Hippo Camp in Memphis and another new one in Cincinnati also debut this year, so there's clearly still some interest in these exhibits (at least for zoos that can afford them).
     
  7. kiang

    kiang Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Will the new Emmen zoo have underwater viewing for their hippo group?
     
  8. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen any pictures on their Facebook page, but I assume so since it's a remodel of the old penguin enclosure (which I imagine the originator of this thread will appreciate).
     
  9. korhoen

    korhoen Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the underwater viewing window from the old penguin enclosure will be re-used in the hippo enclosure.
     
  10. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    There are a dozen zoos in North America that all have expensive underwater viewing areas for Nile Hippos and in every case the water is usually clear and fantastic for visitors. In the USA there are loads of major zoos that receive millions of dollars in public funding every year and thus the zoos can afford the ultra-expensive exhibits. In some parts of the world there are zoos that don't receive any public funding and of course those facilities will likely never have Nile Hippos with underwater viewing. The only negative is that at many of the zoos on the list below the land area is rather tiny and not really sufficient for grazing mammals.

    1- Saint Louis Zoo
    2- San Diego Zoo
    3- Toledo Zoo
    4- San Antonio Zoo
    5- Calgary Zoo
    6- Disney's Animal Kingdom
    7- Sedgwick County Zoo
    8- Busch Gardens
    9- Adventure Aquarium (all-indoor exhibit)
    10- Granby Zoo
    11- Ellen Trout Zoo
    12- Memphis Zoo
     
  11. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    And that makes it uncomfrtable for the hippos-in fact, I don't know not one REALLY good hippo exhibit in europe or Usa. The landparts in these facilities are always to tiny. But who cares-Hippos are no elephants....
     
  12. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    Longleat springs immediately to mind, of course, and it's extremely popular with visitors. In general, though, I think hippos may be the only common zoo animal that is still consistently and clearly shafted by exhibit designers. I'm not sure why that is, but the requirements for underwater viewing are certainly a contributing factor.
     
  13. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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  14. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    In UK there are just four zoos that holds Nile hippos, on ZTL

    Some zoos maybe use a little bit salinised water (or with added bicarbonate salts) for hippo pools; they have been seen in Africa how they enter the ocean. The sea water is about 3-4% salt (NaCl). And in saline water, some bacteria (Escherichia coli, Enterococci, and others) and aglae, can't grow-proliferate as they would in non-saline water.

    And yes nile hippos in almost every zoo don't have a lot of land space in wich they will can graze and explore.
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2016
  15. cliffxdavis

    cliffxdavis Well-Known Member

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    Don't get me wrong I love a good penguin exhibit but I do prefer hippos.
     
  16. Hix

    Hix Wildlife Enthusiast and Lover of Islands Premium Member

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  17. Giant Panda

    Giant Panda Well-Known Member

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    A new study reminded me of this thread. Several monstrously expensive exhibits have opened in the interim, but largely failed to solve the same old problems. This is at least a step in the right direction.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0376635717303340
     
    Tim May, snowleopard and Chlidonias like this.
  18. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    Interestingly, one of the best hippo exhibits might be in Basel (outside only...), the zoo only keeps a pair + offspring, but they have an averagely sized outdoor enclosure with a large pool and a small land area during the day, in the evening (also on slightly cooler days) they are given access to the zebra and ostrich enclosure to feed there.

    I am also interested to see Beauval's new hippo enclosure in person, which looks quite huge, with a sizeable land area...
     
  19. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    I read this paper, and wanted to add some 0,03$, based on behavior of wild common hippos:

    1. Space for night activity, night foraging and night enrichment.

    Common hippos in the wild leave water, and travel individually up to >10km inland to graze singly or in female-calf pairs. This is their main physical activity. Closing hippos in small stables at night is not good.

    Zoos should give hippos sizeable land area with access at night. Hippos should be given food to feed at night, and enrichment. Letting animals distance themselves from each other then is better.

    Some solutions might include installing weak source of light if there is a fear of zoo hippos falling into moats etc and providing night access to enclosures of other large animals, eg. antelope, zebra or giraffe.

    2. Social grouping: females socially, males socially or can be singly.

    A proportion of wild male hippos are chased away and forced to live singly, often in very small pools or swamps away from rivers and main hippo herds. It can be argued that male hippos can be kept singly because it is found in the wild. Of course, here is somewhat of an argument if these males are not stressed in the wild, and that wild conditions do not equal good conditions.

    3. Soft surface, obesity and foot problems.
    They are problem of zoo elephants and rhinos. They may be problem for zoo hippos, too. This might be researched

    4. Deep water - hippos probably do not need it.
    Wild hippos prefer shallow water just enough to submerge. They are not buoyant and do not swim if they can avoid to, moving by walking on the bottom.

    5. Flat surface and easy way out of water - hippos do not need it.
    Wild hippos are unexpectedly good climbers. Herds living in rivers with steep banks or canyons eg. Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, commute daily directly up and down high and very steep slopes with 45 to 60 degrees grade. Hippos make paths going normally directly up and down slope, steep enough to force man to climb on all fours.

    BTW, climbing such a hippo path in shrubbery is dangerous - if there is a hippo, it will run over you like a living truck. :)