Join our zoo community

Jurek's Children Zoo

Discussion in 'Fantasy Zoos' started by Jurek7, 31 May 2015.

  1. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

    19 Dec 2007
    Everywhere at once
    I found that rather old plan, which I forgotten. I think it looks neat, so I post it:


    Children zoo focused on African animals from the region of Egypt-Ethiopia-Kenya.
    You enter the area though the hollow in a huge, fake baobab tree. These enormous African trees can have holes big enough to be used as a store or a chapel.

    Summer playground
    This is children playground surrounded in a semicircle by an exhibit of hamadryas baboons. On the other side is an African restaurant with a good overlook of the playground, so parents can watch over their children. The design of the rocks is similar, so it appears that the children play between baboons. The area is themed as a village in ancient Egypt. The information, mostly in form of paintings and sculptures in the Egyptian style, focuses on animal domestication. It includes murals of domestic animals and their wild counterparts (aurochs, wild goat, wild goose, wolf etc) known to ancient Egyptians.

    Winter playground
    Glass-roofed hall with a restaurant, and children's playground on sandy floor under tropical trees and palms. There are life-size sculptures and pictures of African animals doing typical behaviour, with names. These are aimed at children passively memorizing the sight while playing around, and perhaps learning to read words or short texts. On the other end, there is a separated area. There is a big exhibit of Nile crocodiles, with underwater view with many cichlids. Above the crocodiles there is a large colony of village weavers and masked and Fischer's lovebirds. People can buy a cup of seeds for a small fee and feed the birds from hand.

    Underground savanna
    It starts with two exhibits of meerkats and ground squirrels cross-sected by a trench in which visitors walk. Meerkats are on chest level, separated by a low glass. Signs warn against touching animals – meerkats bite! Then visitors walk into an underground passage, lighted by red light. Several children slings go there, too.
    There is an exhibit of naked mole rats. Another exhibit features termite mound. There is a live termite colony, and nearby exhibits of animals which have ecological relationships with termites: aardvarks exhibited with bat-eared foxes which both eat termites, monitor lizards, which use constant temperature in the mound to incubate their eggs, red-and-yellow barbets which also nest in termite mounds, exhibited together with golden spiny mice. These mice, and dwarf mongoose use old, abandoned mounds for shelter. Decken's hornbills inhabiting the same aviary as the dwarf mongoose, in turn, associate with mongoose to catch insects and together watch for danger.
    Further are underground views into burrows of other animals which live in the burrows in savanna – porcupines and rock python. Outside paddocks of these animals are also seen from a glass tunnel on a chest level. There are also murals of other burrowing animals, which are too small or too sensitive to be exhibited in a children zoo: hunting dogs, hyena, warthogs, ratel, zebra mongoose, carmine bee-eaters, earthworms, beetles, worm snakes, caecilians etc.
    A long side tunnel leads under the paddock of giraffe, zebra, ostrich and antelope. Children can emerge in a hollow termite mound right inside the exhibit between animals.

    Ranger station
    This is a building overlooking ungulate exhibit. It is presented as a station of a management of a national park in Africa, with various equipment, rifles, confiscated snares etc. The purpose is to show visitors daily problems of wildlife management in Africa. Among others, there are monitors with simple educational games where players must run daily tasks like send anti-poaching patrols or manage tourists, or choose between situations like: how best to react when locals complain that wildlife is raiding their crops. Visitors – especially youth who spend lots of time with their smartphones – can also download an app with these games and extra information about national parks for use at home.

    Presentation arena
    This is a grassy amphitheater where daily animal shows are presented. They are aimed at visitors who learn completely passively and do not even read the signs. There are falconry presentations, and presentations of other animals. They usually don't involve animals making tricks or showing any behaviour. Mostly keepers come holding an animal, present it while the presenter talks about it, and leave.

    Sahel village
    This is a petting zoo with african pygmy goats, zebu, donkeys, sheep, chicken and guineafowl. It continues the theme from the summer playground over how animals became domesticated. In the sheds there are also pictures of modern animal husbandry, explanation of humane animal keeping and preservation of diversity of rare breeds. There are also plots with staple African crops unfamiliar outside.

    Sahel trek
    This is an area with rides on dromedary camels, donkeys and zebu charts. Guests can ride into a paddock inhabited by aoudad sheep, addax, mhorr and slender-horned gazelle and rock hyrax.
    Separately, visitors can feed aoudad and antelope. They can also walk through the cave, which contains stalls of aoudad and baboons, which often shelter in caves in the wild. There is also a walk-through cave with Egyptian fruit bats and floor covered with a wriggling mass of thousands of cave crickets (Phaeophilacris bredoides). Crickets are confined to the part of the cave by water stream flowing through the floor.

    Swim in the Nile!
    This is area on the other side of the restaurant imitating ancient African village. There is an overlook over a pool containing Nile hippos, Nile lechwe and Egyptian geese on the land part. Antelope can cross to the giraffe paddock between tree trunks, but hippos cannot. The second pool has Nile crocodiles.
    Nearby, there is an open-air swimming pool. It adjoins both hippo and crocodile exhibits separated by glass, so that people can swim next to hippos, crocodiles and large African fish. In the crocodile pool there is also a fenced area, so a selected group of people can submerge themselves between crocodiles and watch them being fed.
    On the other side there is a terrace overlooking giraffe and ungulate exhibit from the first part of the children zoo. Visitors can go on the terrace and feed giraffe.

    I am toying sometimes with the idea of consulting for zoos, but I know it is a heck of a job! ;)