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Discussion in 'United States' started by okapikpr, 27 Jan 2009.

  1. okapikpr

    okapikpr Well-Known Member

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    Another surprisingly American Zoo that does not have a thread....

    Construction is coming along on the renovation of the old Menagerie Building into a new Rainforest Building. It looks like it will hopefully open by the summer.

    Rain forest is taking shape at KC zoo - Kansas City Star
     
  2. BlackRhino

    BlackRhino Well-Known Member

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    They have a 4.5 acre elephant habitat. One of the largest in the country.
     
  3. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that the new rainforest building will only have 8,000 sq meters of exhibit space to showcase animals from three different continents. That is actually much smaller than I would have expected from a zoo's rainforest.
     
  4. ANyhuis

    ANyhuis Well-Known Member

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    This Zoo has the BEST overall exhibit of African animals in the USA. They have ALL of the major animals of that Continent, and their chimp, elephant, and lion exhibits are among the best anywhere.
     
  5. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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    But the public doesn't appreciate it. After Africa opened, attendance bumped up for a year or two, then dropped precipitously, and the long walks in the KC heat to (maybe) see distant animals was often cited as the reason. I really like it, but the stroller crowd has indicated otherwise.....that's why KC is focusing on exhibits near the entry to the zoo.
     
  6. BlackRhino

    BlackRhino Well-Known Member

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    The Africa section sounds great, and Allen if I remember correctly is was your #3 exhibit so it must be good.

    @Snowleopard: The rain forest may be small, but thats because there won't really be any large animals inside of it. More like otters, gibbons, monkeys, anteaters which don't require that much space. I think the rain forest will be great!
     
  7. ANyhuis

    ANyhuis Well-Known Member

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    You're right, they don't appreciate it, and that's frustrating! The Africa section truly is huge, which is a delight for us zoo-lovers, but less so for Moms pushing strollers. There's some talk of adding a Sky Ride which would take visitors from the front of the Zoo over to the excellent chimp exhibit, in the middle of Africa.

    The other problem cited with KC's design is that Africa is entirely an outdoor exhibit, and thus is completely shuts down during the winter. This really hurts, expecially when Omaha's amazing indoor exhibits are only a couple hours away.
     
  8. BlackRhino

    BlackRhino Well-Known Member

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    Yes, but in the summer when most people visit zoos the Africa is open. Personally I prefer outdoor exhibits over indoor.
     
  9. snowleopard

    snowleopard Well-Known Member

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  10. The KCZooman

    The KCZooman Well-Known Member

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    I'm Back

    I'm for one am very excited about the new polar bear exhibit at the Kansas City Zoo. The 140,000 gallon pool with underwater viewing will be larger than most of the polar bear pools in the United States (with some notable exceptions like Columbus and Detriot) and with the exhibit now being indoors, it will most certainly increase the appeal of the zoo beyond the greater Kansas City metropolitan.
     
  11. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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    Indoors? I sure hope not. Portland and Sea World Orlando have both done that, and they are disasterously small. Portland eventually literally tore the roof off of what had been a totally indoor space for polar bears, but it is still tiny and they are planning to completely re-do both of their polar bear habitats.

    Sea World's Polar exhibit is skylit and cleverly themed, but still obviously way too small. It was designed by the same outfit that is working on KC, so I'm worried.... It gets hot in KC in the summer, but so does Detroit.
     
  12. The KCZooman

    The KCZooman Well-Known Member

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    reduakari Indoors? I sure hope not. Portland and Sea World Orlando have both done that, and they are disasterously small. Portland eventually literally tore the roof off of what had been a totally indoor space for polar bears, but it is still tiny and they are planning to completely re-do both of their polar bear habitats.

    Sea World's Polar exhibit is skylit and cleverly themed, but still obviously way too small. It was designed by the same outfit that is working on KC, so I'm worried.... It gets hot in KC in the summer, but so does Detroit.

    I understand your concern. I too would have perferred the new polar bear exhibit to be a large and spacious outdoor enclosure as it was originally intented. However, just because the exhibit now appears to be indoors doesn't mean it will be terriable.

    First of all, the exhibit is being designed according to the standards set by the province of Manitoba, which has dictated over quality exhibits like Detriot's "Arctic Ring of Life" exhibit. Also, as the late doctor H. Hediger of European zoo fame said that an exhibits' quality was more than exhibits' size. With that in mind, the polar bears could be stimulated with multiple enrichment items that will keep them from being bored and stir-crazy. Finally, the polar bear exhibits at Portland and Sea World were designed and built before we had a better understanding of polar bear behavior. Not to mention that the firm PGAV which has designed the fantastic looking new polar bear exhibit at the Louisville Zoo is surely improving upon their past mistakes.

    Once again, I know you concerns. I want this exhibit to be a state of the art facility that everyone will appreciate. But I'm not ready to judge it prematurely until I have a better understanding of what this exhibit looks like
     
  13. Cat-Man

    Cat-Man Well-Known Member

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    i do hope that all the seaworlds completeley re-develop there enclosures, but i do like seaworld and you'll never take it away from me
     
  14. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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    No, but Imbev might......
     
  15. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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    I agree--hope this is a breakthrough exhibit for polar bears and for the much-beleaguered KC zoo. And yes, quality is more important than pure size (though there are some ZooChatters who are very focused on the latter), but polar bears are one of the most demanding species. Even in some of the biggest, most enriched exhibits, stereotypy is pretty evident.
     
  16. Ituri

    Ituri Well-Known Member

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    Sea World Orlando's Wild Arctic has indoor exhibits? I never new that. I thought it was like Sea World San Diego where the viewing area is indoors but the actual animals are outdoors.
     
  17. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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    I saw Orlando's years before I visited San Diego's--I was surprised to see San Diego's Wild Arctic exhibits were open to the sky. But then San Diego doesn't have Florida's beastly muggy summers, so it makes sense. The live fish in the pools with bears, belugas and walruses is really cool, but the polar bear spaces are really no bigger than the standard grottoes so loathed by everyone here.
     
  18. BlackRhino

    BlackRhino Well-Known Member

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    how is the KC Zoo much beleaguered?
     
  19. reduakari

    reduakari Well-Known Member

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    Attendance dropped from nearly 900,000 to 400,000 between 1997 and 2003. Director got fired for--among other things--shooting Canada geese and giving them to homeless shelters (and was blamed for attendance collapse). Visitor complaints about distance to and remote views of animals in new 90 acre African exhibit area. AZA tabled accreditation for one year because of insufficient funding. Economic woes resulted in seasonal closure of African section starting in 2004 til today. Mayor threatens to ignore contract with Zoological Society and slash city funding. Threat partially delivered on--zoo has had to cut back operating hours and staff.

    To their credit, current management has slowed attendance decline and generated support for improvements (renovated new entry, tropical exhibit in old "main zoo building" and now hopefully polar bears). But this is tough sledding after the City provided over $70 million in the 1990s to build a "new zoo" that turned out to be rather unpopular, or at least not the roaring success it was hoped to be.
     
  20. BlackRhino

    BlackRhino Well-Known Member

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    At least they have some of the best elephant, lion, black rhino, and chimp habitats.