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Discussion in 'United States' started by Kudu21, 2 Jan 2011.

  1. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    From the beginning when they showed the design, it looked very sterile. Concrete, steel, other metals, nothing naturalistic at all. It looks like something an amusement park would have. They destroyed a nice area filled with trees, for this. A large plaza, a ride, "oases" for the Orangs, O-line and a large building where the visitors get more room than the Apes. I get they need to tell and share the message about them, I just don't think it is all that appealing. The one thing I am puzzled by is if the Orangs can climb the tower? If not, why have it? Surely, if it does not benefit the animals other than flipping a switch to turn it off/on. What is the point? The price tag is astronomical. These exhibit design firms need to relax, take a breath and go back to the naturalistic approach.
     
  2. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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  3. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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  4. uszoo

    uszoo Well-Known Member

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    I may be in the minority but I love this complex. In the history of zoos never has there been a great orangutan exhibit (unlike gorillas and chimps) as they are a mostly arboreal species. This exhibit will promote climbing which orangutans often do not do in zoos. Also it will provide great enrichment as keepers will position food most likely at the landing areas so they will be active. The indoor portion looks to be very tall and allow year round climbing. It also seems like it will be able to hold a lot of orangutans and breed them.
     
  5. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The new orangutan complex certainly has its share of supporters and detractors in the world of zoo nerds and it hasn't even opened yet! In plain terms some folks already hate its church-like, rocketship appearance while others believe that it could be a game-changer and a major success for the Indianapolis Zoo. I'm torn as on the one hand I'd much rather see an Indonesian Rainforest complex constructed similar to what Minnesota Zoo has in its long-range Master Plan, but I really enjoyed seeing orangutans on the famous O-Line at the National Zoo when I visited in 2008.

    I'm a little worried for the zoo in terms of looking at the complex decades from now, as such grandiose, "modern" animal buildings often fade into disrepair over the years. Dudley Zoo in England has its infamous Tecton buildings that were surely state-of-the-art at the time but have been eyesores since; London Zoo has its Lubetkin-designed structures that stand out like sore thumbs; Kansas City in America has its ghastly great apes house that has sat abandoned for many years; and the list goes on. I think that the "Indy Orang Church" will be a huge success in terms of attendance, and hopefully the apes utilize the entire complex, and my only fear is that in 30 years from now the entire zone could represent a failed attempt at "modern zoo art".:) Will it stand the test of time?
     
  6. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    "Like a forest" is not the same as being a forest.

    Seems to me to be a very human-centered, post-industrial view of life. Yes functionality is essential. But that is not all there is. Tactile experience, psychological suitability, etc. also are essential in creating a space where any creature can thrive. This way of thinking has pushed humans into more and more unnatural boxes and we have a population either toting guns or popping mood enhancers. Our lives are longer but judging from the stress level, not necessarily healthy. So why apply this model to orangs?

    Some say that the animals don't "care" whether the trees are alive and green or not. Why do we think so? Because the animals climb them? As opposed to what? What choices were they given?

    There are countless orang exhibits with sterile climbing structures. How often do we see genuine orang forest behavior in these exhibits? Do orangs in Borneo sit sullenly on the ground or in trees for hours on end?

    It is great that these o-line inspired enclosures give orangs an opportunity to climb! But I don't accept that therefore greenery is unnecessary. There needs to be a balanced approach offering orangs green exhibits with great climbing opportunities as well as plenty of creative enrichment for these intelligent primates.
     
  7. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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    I completely agree. While the desire to do something innovative with this exhibit is admirable, I seriously question the viability of a ride that as often as not will simply allow a fleeting view of a few orangs sitting in the shade on the ground, dominated by the giant "retro-futuristic" edifice looming overhead. The millions being spent on the "steeple" and the cable car system could have been used to develop a forest environment in and around the orang spaces, that if combined artfully with the "O-line" concept could have achieved some of what ZPM suggests--a respectful and appropriate picture of how the "man of the forest" truly is a product of its environment. I'm afraid what is being built will more resemble the Golden Gate Bridge scene in the last remake of "Planet of the Apes."
     
  8. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Well that's just nasty ;)
     
  9. DAKFan

    DAKFan Active Member

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    Butterflies are returning this year.

    Deserts is being rehabbed while closed for the Orang construction. They will be adding several new species to the biome.

    The Orangutan construction is progressing. The ride portion is going up as we speak.
     
  10. DAKFan

    DAKFan Active Member

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    Oceans will also be receiving a rehab. Seahorses are on the way out.
     
  11. TZFan

    TZFan Well-Known Member

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  12. Kudu21

    Kudu21 Well-Known Member

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    The Nina Mason Pulliam Beacon of Hope at the International Orangutan Center will be lit for the first time tonight at 8:15 pm EST. It can be seen live from the International Orangutan Center Construction Cam in the link below:

    Indianapolis Zoo ioc cam
     
  13. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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  14. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    There is already some negativity about the new orangutan exhibit on this thread but I have to agree with what everybody has said up to this point in time. None of us have actually seen the exhibit with our own eyes but the giant ape rocketship is so sterile and bizarre that it is not something that I'd want in my "local" zoo of Woodland Park (still hours away). That would be unthinkable! Why couldn't $26 million have been spent on a much more naturalistic environment? Hopefully natural substrate is placed in the interior zone for the orangs as two different videos that I've seen show nothing but cement, steel pipes, metal gates and something that is quite honestly ugly and reminiscent of the 1970's. Metal climbing ladders and metallic backdrops on top of what appears to be pure concrete in all directions means that unless things change dramatically between now and opening date there aren't going to be many zoo nerds who actually like this monstrosity. Perhaps the average family won't care and I have no doubt that the crowds will pour into the zoo, but I anxiously await the next video with improvements done to the indoor quarters.

    This is what I wrote earlier on this thread:

    I'm a little worried for the zoo in terms of looking at the complex decades from now, as such grandiose, "modern" animal buildings often fade into disrepair over the years. Dudley Zoo in England has its infamous Tecton buildings that were surely state-of-the-art at the time but have been eyesores since; London Zoo has its Lubetkin-designed structures that stand out like sore thumbs; Kansas City in America has its ghastly great apes house that has sat abandoned for many years; and the list goes on. I think that the "Indy Orang Church" will be a huge success in terms of attendance, and hopefully the apes utilize the entire complex, and my only fear is that in 30 years from now the entire zone could represent a failed attempt at "modern zoo art". Will it stand the test of time?
     
  15. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    What I find puzzling about the whole orang church here (and let's be honest, they're building a church) is that the zoo director was talking in interviews a few years ago about how he wanted to build a naturalistic, immersive African ape exhibit for gorillas and bonobos to rival Congo Gorilla Forest. What happened to make this project 180 degrees from a naturalistic exhibit?
     
  16. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    Here is another similar article:
    Indy Zoo offers glimpse of $26M orangutan center

    This line from the article is enough to keep many ZooChatters away:
    "...don't expect it to look much like the rainforest, the habitat of orangutans in the wild in places such as Borneo or Sumatra. The zoo's orangutans were all born in captivity or into the entertainment industry and would not be comfortable living deep in the rainforest..."
     
    Last edited: 23 Mar 2014
  17. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    An interesting statement, and it makes me wonder why the zoo spent millions renovating and expanding its tiger exhibit a few years ago. The tigers had been born into captivity and obviously "would not be comfortable living deep in the rainforest"...so why not give them some cement ledges and a functional yet aesthetically awful cage?:) What is the difference between the orangutans and tigers? I shake my head at the enormous price tag, but I do admit that it would be cool to see the apes utilize their "O-Line" above the church.
     
  18. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    The pictures are minimal but it reminds me, in an odd way, of the Chester Zoo orang spaces but more spacious
     
  19. TeamTapir223

    TeamTapir223 Well-Known Member

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    The mind boggling thing to me is something that Snowleopard hinted at and that is the price tag.26 million dollars should able to get you both a stimulating enviroment for the apes and a immersive jungle like atmospere.

    Team Tapir223
     
  20. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    There's more to this than just erecting a new complex. design and fees, contractors, locating supplies, the site work of demolition and adding new utilities and sewage. It's just not cut and dry that they spent twenty-six million on a building, a ride and an o-line. Everyone seems to forget that it's a process, things happen, need to be considered, changed, etc. The basics just to start construction and upgrade the utilities cost a few million, not to mention the design and contractor fees. Is it eye-pleasing? Probably not. Does it work? No clue. We all have our fingers ready to type the dislikes we have for something we have yet to see. We all “wish" this and that. We have no clue! It isn't our money and even if we tried to build something lavish, lush and extravagant, we could not accomolish such a feat. So, at the end of the day, when we point our fingers and type, we should maybe take into consideration what we type. I, myself am harsh on such exhibits. I, too, could be nicer. I'm trying. We should all try. Some of us have Zoo experience, contracting experience, or are just Zoo enthusiasts. At the end of the day, think about the process from start-to-finish, and all it entails, money included.