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Maguari in Florida (and Georgia)

Discussion in 'United States' started by Maguari, 28 Sep 2013.

  1. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Hi all,

    As some of you will know I'm coming/going (I'm sure it's one of those two...) to Florida very shortly! I should be arriving, all being well, on Friday 4th October and will be in the States for two weeks, with the last two days in Atlanta (no prizes for guessing what I'm going there for...).

    The trip is a combined birding/wildlife trip and zoo trip - the former will dominate in the first week and the latter in the second, but both weeks should have an element of each - and I am travelling in a small group for the first half.

    As I will then be solo for the second week I though I'd put this thread here ready to pour my news and views into! Can't promise how often I'll update it but will try to when I get chance - updates will probably be more regular in week two than one, particularly if I can find wifi - if all else fails this is where you'll find a report when I get back!

    As it stands I've only been to six US zoos, and those 15 years ago, so I'm looking forward to hopefully quite a few new species and some reappearances of species that I haven't seen since that 1998 trip - and hopefully some good wildlife as well.

    The plan is pretty much fixed in terms of where I'm going and when (we're travelling about the state quite a bit at the start to get the right parts of the trip into the 'group' week); a few of you will know the plan already but in terms of this thread I'll let the days come as a surprise, I think. Most of the 'obvious' candidates are in there; just don't get your hopes up for Busch Gardens...

    Anywho, while you wait the best part of a week for me to actually start the trip, feel free to settle in and make yourself at home in this shiny new thread. And if anyone has any good travel/food tips for Florida feel free to share!


    Cheers
    Maguari
     
  2. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    man, everyone is doing travel threads these days!! I shall look forward to reading about your wildlifey-birdy exploits.
     
  3. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Well, hopefully it makes a nice change from 'Zoo X has received a new male Species Y from Zoo Z'. :D

    (much as we like that, of course!)

    For the time being they are merely wildlifey-birdy endeavours, but the moment I'm able to upgrade them to exploits you'll be the first to know!
     
  4. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    I do not think anyone has yet posted a photo of a cheetah taken from the top of a roller coaster looking down at it. For this reason alone, you owe us a trip to Busch Gardens! :p
     
  5. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Ha! Nice try! :p
     
  6. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I haven't a clue whether any collections will have one in the area you will be visiting, but if you happen to see a captive Elf Owl a photo would be appreciated :p you naturally won't see a wild one.
     
  7. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Well, I'm not expecting any but if one does turn up I shall do my best!
     
  8. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member

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    Here is one from the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. (Not in Florida of course, but it is an elf owl).
     

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  9. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Are you going to be doing any alligator wrestling?

    There actually should be a prize for guessing why you are going to Atlanta, as you could be going there to:
    1) see the pandas
    2) see the whale sharks and manta rays
    3) have a Coke
    4) apply to CNN to be one of their new entertainment reporters
     
  10. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    I can confirm that one of those four is exactly the primary reason, and two of the others I will certainly be doing while I am in town for the primary reason. On the remaining one I will have to disappoint.

    And I'm hoping to avoid actual physical contact with alligators, as far as possible.
     
  11. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Well-Known Member

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    Little known fact: When Santa's elves go on vacation, he hires elf owls as temps.
     
  12. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

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    are you sick of pandas then?
     
  13. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    Two is obviously your primary reason, and three and four are the most logical for the secondary reasons:p

    I know at least four of the collections you're visiting and, from having been to one of them within the last few and months and from you telling what you hope to see, you should see some nice new ungulates there:D

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  14. TheOnlineZoo

    TheOnlineZoo Well-Known Member

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    I have not see one in the 100+ institutions I have been to in the U.S., but I did see one wild in Arizona. The photo is grainy because the only light was a flashlight.

    http://theonlinezoo.com/img/21/toz21724l.jpg
     
  15. TheOnlineZoo

    TheOnlineZoo Well-Known Member

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    I've never understood the fascination of the Georgia Aquarium. Yes it's big and yes they have whale sharks, but those are the only things I found particularly cool about it.

    I went three times the year it opened, and I was disappointed. For one thing, their signage is very poor. (A large exhibit with multiple gar species was labelled simply "gar".) Aquariums are often worse at this than zoos, and the Georgia Aquarium is one of the worst (as bad as the two owned by Ripley's). Plus it was always too crowded (maybe that's better now since the newness has worn off). It just felt like the focus was being an entertainment attraction; there was no real educational element.

    This is just my opinion, and I am sure others will disagree. But I much preferred the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, less than two hours north.
     
  16. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

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    I can't speak from experience because I've never been but I suspect the signage and impressiveness was bad when you visited because it was new. I do agree that aquariums are worst generally when it comes to signage. I went to one earlier today (okay, technically yesterday because it's past 12) and almost every photo I took was of a fish I need to get IDed because they weren't listed on the signage!

    And the main attraction to the aquarium are the Whale Sharks. They are a unique and rare treat for most zoo/animal nerds. I believe the aquarium also has manta rays, which, for someone like me at least, creates a double whammy worth a visit any day!

    Though that's just my opinion as well.

    ~Thylo:cool:
     
  17. Giant Eland

    Giant Eland Well-Known Member

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    So what's the plan for what zoos you'll be seeing!? I've been to Florida many times, and could possibly give suggestions for new mammal species, if you were interested...
     
  18. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    Ah, but you see - I really, really want to see Whale Sharks and Mantas. :D

    (and Southern Sea Otters, which I haven't seen since 1998)

    The rest of the aquarium I'll take as I find it. ;)
     
  19. Maguari

    Maguari Never could get the hang of Thursdays. Premium Member

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    I'll drop you a PM.

    Cheers
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    This time Maguari goes wild in Florida- rather than at Whipsnade.:)

    I hope that you see Limpkin (eating the obligatory Apple snails of course) if you are in the Everglades.