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Lost in the Low Countries - A ShonenJake13 Trip

Discussion in 'Europe - General' started by ShonenJake13, 11 Jun 2017.

  1. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    So on June 24th I will be flying to the Netherlands to live there for four weeks volunteering at Stichting AAP with their large monkeys (macaques, baboons etc). Whilst over there I will be paying visits to Apenheul, Burgers' Zoo and Dierenrijk.
    Following on from this, on the 22nd July I will be heading from my location in NL to Antwerp in Belgium, where I will spend three days doing the big three Belgian zoos; Antwerp, Planckendael and Pairi Daiza.

    I will be updating this thread with my progress and my adventures, as well as updates of the zoos. So give it a read if you're interested!

    I'm incredibly excited :D
     
  2. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Beautifully timed (for me) as I'm currently considering/planning a trip to visit the three Belgium zoos mentioned (plus Olmense and possibly a Dutch zoo or two) in late September. I look forward to reading of your experiences and using them to fine tune my own itinerary (assuming you'll write up your travels at a faster rate than Tea Loving Dave does. :D)

    Happy travelling!
     
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  3. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    Man I've really let this thread fall by the way side. But here's my review so far!

    Stichting AAP

    A really interesting place to work. The site is split into five main animal sections; primate islands and mammals on one end of the site, and the quarantine, primate rehabilitation building and chimpanzee complex at the other end. I'm working on the North Wing of the PRB, with a range of monkey species (barbary, rhesus, Japanese and southern pig-tailed macaques, hamadryas and guinea baboons, brown capuchins and tantalus monkeys). The primate islands belong to the same section as the PRB, but have their residents' feeds prepared separately and therefore most treat the two as different sections. The centre is open daily for tours, which to my knowledge includes an in depth look at the islands, a walk past the front of the PRB, a view from a secluded forest path of the chimp complex and then a walk past the quarantine facility. You also get to see the central kitchen where all the food is made from the outside. I would highly recommend it, though not if you're aiming to treat it as a zoo day and see as many animals as you can, the tour actually doesn't take you past most of the animals. AAP is in the middle of sending a bunch of their monkeys to Primadomus at the moment so it's a busy time, hence me not posting sooner!

    Apenheul

    Visited two weekends ago. Nice to finally return after nearly two years without a visit. No sign of the crowned lemurs in the walkthrough, but did see the collared mangabeys and heard from a volunteer about an interesting new species arriving, though I don't think I'm allowed to say what it is. It's due to be revealed in the coming weeks I believe.
    The apes were all on good form. Jambo has been struggling to lead his group of gorillas until recently, but it seems Kisiwa's departure has made a change. He didn't discipline anyone as he should have but he was in the centre of the action of the feed and he led the group away after. Finally saw the three new bonobos as well, Bonnie, Kindu and Pangi. These were living with Bolombo, Kumbuka and Ayebi at the time of my visit. They all seemed quite quiet, Kindu avoided Kumbuka and Ayebi, Bonnie hid from view a lot of the time, and Pangi stayed up high and out of the way. The other half of the group were in the semi offshow indoor area as their main indoors was being refurbished.
    Finally, the squirrel monkey group has halved in size at least. There were far less than 100, probably more like 50 odd.
    Overall, a great return visit :)

    Dierenrijk

    Now for the other side of the coin. I didn't really have any huge plans for revisiting Dierenrijk; it's a children's zoo and doesn't hold too many rarities. However, I wanted to see the chimps and crab-eating macaques that they have recently received from Beekse Bergen and AAP, so I visited.
    And it was quite underwhelming. A lot had of course changed in the eight or so years since I visited last, but nothing of too much interest. Lions, cheetahs and chimps are the only large animals recently added, so there really isn't much to see. It was nice to see the chimps finally, but I don't have much else to say about the zoo and won't be returning anytime soon haha. One thing I will say is they have a large touch tank filled with those fish that eat your dead skin now, and they also have a mix of owl species (eagle and snowy) something I've never seen before.

    Burgers' and an impromptu mystery visit to a German zoo tomorrow and the day after! Will update :)
     
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  4. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Does his change of behaviour mean they will rethink moving him out?
     
  5. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    Sadly I doubt it. The new male they want is in desperate need of a new home AND he's wildborn too I believe.
     
  6. ShonenJake13

    ShonenJake13 Well-Known Member

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    More zoo updates, and a change.

    As this is my last week in the Netherlands I have decided to start a new thread based purely off of my Belgian travels. As these will be brand new to me I want to try and write proper reviews of each zoo.

    So, here are my last opinions on the two zoos I visited over the weekend: Burgers' and Duisburg.

    Burgers' Zoo

    Revisiting my favourite zoo in the Netherlands and, as of the time of writing, that I have ever visited, was very satisfying, especially with getting to see its latest addition. For those who read this thread at or a few days after the time of posting you can see my opinion on the Mangrove in the Burgers' Zoo thread. Those who read this later than that, I'all sum it up; the manatees were my highlight, and the design and species list are something special. Though it isn't too lush right now, it definitely will be soon and I look forward to this immensely. Other than that, a regular visit; birding in the Bush, seeing beisa oryx for the first time and visiting my favourite chimp group. Seeing the new exhibit reminded me just how much I love this zoo.


    Duisburg Zoo

    A zoo I last visited in 2010. Interesting to revisit with my new zoo knowledge and appreciation for a rare species and decent exhibit. The spectacled bear enclosure is pretty good, spacious and used regularly by the three bears I counted. The mammalian carnivore inventory at this zoo is next level (binturong, banded mongoose, meerkat, fossa, fishing cat, European wildcat, Carpathian lynx, lion, Siberian tiger, clouded leopard, arctic wolf, arctic fox, hunting dog, spectacled bear, red panda, coati, wolverine, giant otter, small clawed otter, Californian sea lion and harbour seal) and their marsupial collection is pretty stand out too (red-necked wallabies, common wombats, Tasmanian devils, Goodfellow's tree kangaroo, short-beaked echidnas, woylies and an impressive group of TEN koalas). Sadly didn't see the woylies, devils or the wombats but this was made up for by seeing two very tiny baby koalas and my first echidnas. Seeing Baby the Amazon river dolphin again was also enjoyable though he's beginning to show his age.

    Unfortunately some of the zoo's older exhibits really draw a black cloud over the zoo; the carnivore, giraffe, elephant and monkey houses to name a few. But there are lots of highly impressive enclosures (koala house, lynx/wildcat enclosures, giant salamander exhibit in the aquarium) which make the zoo of a decent to moderately high standard in my eyes :) I would be happy to return again soon.
     
  7. Zoo Tycooner FR

    Zoo Tycooner FR Well-Known Member

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    Echidnas are not marsupials, they are monotremes. ;)

    Thanks for these really interesting reviews, I can't wait for the Belgian zoos (more in-depth I guess?) reviews as well! :)
     
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