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Indoor Viewing, Europe vs. US

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Coelacanth18, 27 Apr 2016.

  1. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member

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    So after looking at many photos of European zoos, I posit a hypothesis: that being, it seems relatively common for there to be public viewing for both indoor and outdoor enclosures for the majority of animals. While in the US this is largely true for apes (and perhaps also monkeys & elephants), it seems far less common; if animals choose, or are forced to be in their indoor enclosures, they are usually just off display to the public. I wanted people's input on whether this observation is true and if so, why that dichotomy exists.
     
  2. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak to your comparisons but I will say that building both indoor and outdoor viewing for an animal is expensive and takes up space. Many zoos in the USA accept that during colder or inclement weather visitation is way down and so they offer less to those few who do come. They also often reduce admission price. They cannot justify creating indoor and outdoor viewing for every animal.

    Furthermore, in the UK (at least) there is a zoo culture of allowing animals to choose whether to be in or out throughout the day and throughout the year. So both indoor and outdoor viewing becomes a necessity. In the USA, keepers or curators often decide whether to put the animals out or keep them in.

    I suspect that new animal exhibits may cost more to design and build in the USA than in the UK (especially), adding more pressure in the USA to decisions about whether to build additional viewing.
     
  3. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Also, the general climate in USA allows zoo animals to spend longer time outside than zoo animals in general Europe. The US coordinates are tied up with Mediterranean one in Europe and North Africa, while the European region above 43-45 degrees Northern latitude is tied up with Canadian coordinates.

    The climate in US is generaly sunny, hot and dry/wet. In Europe is wet, cold, cool, not very sunny (except Spain, Portugal, Italy and the Balkans.)
     
  4. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps you need to come visit Minnesota, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Portland (OR or ME!), San Francisco... well I could go on. The USA climate as diverse as Europe's, I believe
     
  5. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    I love to swim in the waters of Alaksa-it is beautyful sunny and warm there.The Beaches are nice, too.

    The Usa have ALL climates Zones, tropical, subtropcial, cold zones and deserts...
     
  6. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yeees I know....


    But generaly speaking, USA is more southernly situated than Europe.... That I am talking about. If we have the bigest number of EAZA members situated above 45 degree Northern latitude, then we have the bigest number of AZA or generaly all american zoos situated under 45 degree Northern latitude.


    Alaska so it is warm and sunny? But how much zoos are in Alaska, those bigger one - one or two?! :p

    And yes I know for tropical tip of Florida... And USA has more diverse climate than Europe, I do not wrote about diversity of climates....
     
  7. lintworm

    lintworm Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes USA is generally more southernly orientated, but the ocean currents are in favour of Europe, The current that passes Spain, France, UK, up to Iceland comes from the Caribic, bringing mild (and wet) weather, due to the warm sea water. Whereas along the US east coast the current comes from Greenland, bringing quite a different weather type with them with all that cold sea water....
     
  8. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Well your statement implies that more USA zoos can have good year round outdoor viewing. But major zoos in New York, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, are more similar to northern or central Europe.
    Some Southern zoos (Miami, Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, New Orleans, etc) can be unbearably hot part of the year.
    In short, your assumptions about why US zoos have fewer indoor viewing areas (if in fact they do) makes no real sense. It is not about our mild pleasant weather.
     
  9. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    Yes I know and you are right. But that makes climate in Europe wetter and colder in summer too, with not a lot of sun, with no high temperatures (to reach frequently above 25 or above 30) and UV radiation, wich are esential factors for most animals, as most diverse animal forms are originating from equatorial and tropical regions.

    Plus because of the more Northernly orientation, Europe lacks the amount of sunshine and solar irradiation that USA (and zoo animals outside) recieve. Just for comparasion San Diego zoo is at 32 Northern lattitude, and florida zoos are even further down 30-25 degrees. But German or UK zoos are well above 48 degree Northern latitude. Bronx zoo is at about 41 degree, that's nearly the Barcelona zoo latitude.

    USA is more sunny region than Europe in general.
     
  10. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Macedonia (to choose a random example) is on the same latitude as Chicago, Providence (RI), Fort Wayne (IN), Des Moines (IA), Cleveland (OH), Cheyenne (WY). All of which have cold winters, often very snowy and long.
     
  11. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    The sunny US climate, in Europe, can be experienced only in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and rest of Balkans (Albania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Croatia...).

    Most southernly located zoo in Europe is probably Cretaquarium on Crete - 34 degree Northern latitude (Greece) (excluding Canary Islands, because they are geographicaly part of Africa). But we have most southerny located US zoos at 27-25 degrees (Florida) (excluding Hawai).
     
  12. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    That region in US is quite colder than Macedonia here, with transitional climate from Mediterranean to temperate continental, and with Mediteranean vegetation and a lot of Mediteranean fauna here (32 species of reptiles (including two tortoises), invertebrates including 4 species of scorpions, black widow spider, four species of vultures, etc.).

    That's mainly because of the proximity of Mediterranean here (80-100 km) and frequent sandy and warm air flows from Northern Africa.
     
  13. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    That is exactly my point and contradicts your earlier comparisons of beautiful sunny warm USA that doesn't have need for indoor viewing!
     
  14. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

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    There you go!

    As far as I know, many zoos (at least in the Netherlands and Germany)
    try to attract visitors even when the weather is bad.
    A zoo needs to build an indoor enclosure for many tropical species,
    so why not spend some more and make it visable, and attract more
    visitors on rainy days?

    Some zoos, like Burgers' Zoo, even advertise as being a great option
    for a day out when the weather is bad. And the majority of the collection
    can be seen while staying dry. They have a great system for the
    large hoofstock: the indoor enclosures are only visable when the
    weather is bad and the animals stay mostly inside.
     
  15. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Some North American zoos are beginning to think that way as well. But to do so one needs to have a wonderful indoor experience as Burgers has. And that is very expensive to build. If one is Burgers or Randers or even Leipzig it makes sense. But would Rotterdam advertise as a great place for a cold wet day?
     
  16. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    But Zooplantman, I wrote generaly speaking and observing, I do not wrote that every part of USA is warm, sunny and nice place :p. I just wrote that the general climate of USA is warmer (particularly in summer) and more sunny than most of the Europe, firs of all because of more Southernly orientation.

    Like already said, European zoos would invest a more in indoor viewing enclosures, because the weather in Europe frequently is wet, so the zoos will can allso attract visitors in rainy days.
     
  17. Bib Fortuna

    Bib Fortuna Well-Known Member

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    I only know that the best zoos in the Usa can be found only in the southern states like California, Southern Arizona and Flordia because they don't need Indoor Exhibits-so Pygmy Hippos in Flodia enjoys a year round outdoor paddock, but in Chicgao, for example, they are kept year round INDOORS...A step forwards in Animal welfare in the 21.Century ?
     
  18. Nikola Chavkosk

    Nikola Chavkosk Well-Known Member

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    What do you want to say? It seems very interesting.
     
    Last edited: 27 Apr 2016
  19. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds strange, because most zoos in Europe want to be visited year-round. Animals require feeding all year, so making visitors come in winter is a cheap way to increase revenue.

    Perhaps zoos in North-western Europe are actually visited year round because climate is coldish and rather even all year. People and animals have to adapt to bad weather in any season.

    And there is also Allwetterzoo Munster in Germany, calling itself 'All-weather Zoo'. It has covered walkway going around the zoo, passing all the buildings and giving view of all the outdoor exhibits.
     
  20. gentle lemur

    gentle lemur Well-Known Member

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    The new Monsoon Forest in the Islands development at Chester, which is the largest zoo building in the UK, was partly built to provide another warm, dry location in the zoo for visitors in cold or wet weather (not unknown in NW England). This gives indoor and outdoor viewing for the Sumatran orangs, moloch gibbons, crested macaques and rhinoceros hornbills - plus indoor viewing for other reptiles, birds and fishes. All the other animals in this development have outdoor viewing only.
    In most British zoos, large mammals such as elephants, rhinos and giraffes have both indoor and outdoor viewing, so do monkeys and apes. The situation is more varied with cattle, larger antelopes and big cats: I can only think of a few examples of enclosures with both indoor and outdoor viewing for bears, dogs and small mammals.

    Alan