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Menominee Park Zoo M. Man's Menominee Park Zoo Review

Discussion in 'United States' started by Milwaukee Man, 24 Aug 2016.

  1. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

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    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Well, here's a review of a zoo that I don't think has been mentioned on here before! :)

    Review of the Menominee Park Zoo

    City of Oshkosh - Parks and Forestry Division - Menominee Park Zoo

    Situated on only 8 acres in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the free admission Menominee Park Zoo opened to the public in 1945. It is a seasonal zoo with only 30 – 50 animals that has a few permanent exhibits, along with animals that are “rented” for the summer.

    This is perhaps the smallest zoo apart from Siegfried and Roy’s that I’ve been to. Not just in acreage, but in animal and exhibit collection as well – I believe I counted only 16 individual exhibits! Three of those exhibits were recently built, and are the best the Zoo has to offer, while the rest is either average or rather disappointing and outdated. The plans looking into the future, however, do look quite promising! :D

    There is no specific animal complex to be found here, so for this review, I just simply categorized the exhibits into three groups.

    North American Animals – Three of the four exhibits housing American wildlife are new permanent homes for animals. In 2013, the North American river otter habitat debuted. The single otter I saw had a habitat with a pool (with underwater viewing) surrounded by rocks that dominate the landscape, along with a narrow horseshoe-shaped land area that consists of both dirt and grass, along with a couple logs. While it is just average in size and not the most aesthetically pleasing enclosure, I feel it is adequate for the energetic mammals in terms of varied terrain. Just behind the otters is what I feel is the premier section of the Zoo – the timber wolf habitat. It is a huge, magnificent habitat for the largest canine species, complete with a stream flowing into a pond, grassy hills, a den, and many trees and rocks that dominate the space. Viewing is through a log cabin with windows, another wall of windows, chain-link that is obscured by trees, and an overlook at one end of the habitat. This overlook is also connected to a view of the nearby elk habitat. The herd of five can be found in a habitat that is mostly open with a large pond, and some trees in one area of the space. The most unique aspect here is that the large deer can also be viewed through a cabin with windows into the exhibit! The fourth exhibit is near the domestic animals, and it is a hideous corncrib cage for a red fox.

    Exotic Animals – These exhibits are mostly disappointing. To begin with, an olive baboon has a corncrib cage with a large fake tree in the middle. Across from this exhibit is an indoor room viewed through a window with terrible glare for African spurred tortoise. Next to the fox are two more exhibits: another corncrib cage for a pair of African crested porcupines, and a small area that is used for education animals during presentations – such as macaws and Russian tortoises. Finally, there is a quartet of small aviaries (one of which was empty) that consist of woodchip floors, branches for perching, and a little tree for the following: ring-neck pheasant, Indian peafowl, and turkey vulture (way too small for the latter two bird species).

    Domestics – Scattered around the grounds are four fairly basic pens for domesticated creatures. Near the otters, and the first enclosure that visitors come across when taking a right from the entrance, is a mid-sized pen (with a shade structure and hill) for one Sicilian donkey and a miniature horse. Across from the fox is a trio of grassy pens for alpaca, goats (such as Nigerian and dwarf), and Suffolk sheep.

    HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: The entire elk herd was enjoying their refreshing pool at the time of my visit. As the body of water is fairly close to the windows of the cabin, it was interesting to get a close look at the majestic deer.

    Overall: If the new wolf and elk habitats are an indication of what is to come for this tiny zoo, then I see a bright future for this non-AZA institution. In addition, the Zoo is located in a lovely park setting, with a cool-looking playground across the street and the shore of Lake Winnebago is just a short walk away, making for a wonderful day for families. Sadly, after the wolves and elk, the otter habitat is average at best (but still probably the third best exhibit), and the rest of the establishment is mainly underwhelming. I would be intrigued to see the final product of their master plan, but as it is right now, Menominee Park is simply one to mark down on a lifetime zoo list.

    As stated before, the Zoo hopes to add more permanent exhibits to maintain animals year-round. The current wolf, elk, and otter exhibits are the start of this evolution. Below is a link to the Master Plan document, which seems to aim at housing native Wisconsin wildlife in different biomes:

    http://www.ci.oshkosh.wi.us/parks/assets/pdf/Menominee_Park_Zoo_Master_Plan.pdf

    I would place Menominee Park Zoo at #23, in between the Alameda Park Zoo (#22) and the DeYoung Family Zoo (#24).
     
  2. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

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    Some photos of this small Wisconsin zoo are now in the United States - Other gallery - enjoy! :)
     
  3. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    California, USA
    Thanks for the review and pictures of this zoo that is unknown to most of us.
    Hopefully they can continue to upgrade their facility.
     
  4. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

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    No problem!
     
  5. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Now that there is a forum for this zoo available, is someone able to move my review to there please?