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Milwaukee County Zoo Milwaukee County Zoo News 2019

Discussion in 'United States' started by MKE Zoo guy, 4 Jan 2019.

  1. savetherhino

    savetherhino Well-Known Member

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    Riverbanks zoo has 2 female African elephants and they are planing on phasing out elephants. Maybe...
     
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  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Milwaukee still keeps tree kangaroos bts. All the other Australian animals have left the zoo.
     
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  3. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    First visit of the year today, though a not very eventful one. Here are some small notes. Hey
    • Red river hogs are currently sharing the elephant stall closest to the giraffes, while happy the hippo has access to other stall.
    • Adventure Africa Phase ll will be starting construction very soon. The new map has the current hippo/red river hog/bongo yards circled and are listed as “May be closed for renovation”.
    • Not that anyone cares, but the outdoor colobus monkey exhibit has some small ropes hanging overhead and on the logs. Don’t lie to me, we all forgot this was happening.
    • Gift shop construction is well under way.
    • We’re in the home stretch for Adventure Africa! Just a few more months to go. It feels almost surreal to know its finally coming after all these years.
     
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  4. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

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    I was there too! We very well could’ve bumped into each other and not even known it! It's been a while since I've been to Milwaukee County, and I got a few notes as well to go along with pachyderm pro's updates:

    *There seems to be more climbing logs and firehose installed in the outdoor gorilla exhibit, as I don't recall seeing them before.

    *There is a trio of signs on the wood fence next to the snow leopard viewing, one with I.D.'s for Orya and Asa, another describing how the cats are essential to their ecosystem, and details about "Snow Leopard Trust" conservation.

    *I couldn't for sure make out which one was Lily the cub, but the entire red panda family was out and about.

    *Fezzik the sloth was partaking in an enrichment session with a keeper, in which he was guided with painting a canvas - that was pretty neat to see.

    *I was pleasantly surprised to see the bongos (though only by the doorway) and rhinos outside despite temperatures being in the 40's.

    *The shorebird aviary had a blue see-through drape over the viewing deck, with a closed renovation sign.

    *Adventure Africa: From what I could see, there are aspects that will make this complex a great success, while others that are not quite reaching their full potential. I think I'll hold off giving a more detailed opinion, as I feel most of it will be a case of "wait and see" after construction is done and during opening/warmer weather, along with maybe future adjustments, but I will say that it is an overall BIG improvement over the former elephant exhibit, along with the current hoofstock enclosures. On a side note, it was nice to catch a glimpse of Brittany and Ruth enjoying the outdoors through the bars.

    HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: I finally got to see Otter Passage and the Second Entrance; was it worth the wait and seemingly never-ending delays? Yes it was! The overall feel and design of the entire area is well-done. It's a smaller area than the U.S. Bank Gathering Place, but it feels fairly open, and the amenities and buildings look more modern. The river otter habitat is fantastic - there are four otters (one male, three females) that resulted in a popular and active destination, viewing windows on land, a variety of terrain and substrates, two underwater viewing windows, a water slide designed like a log (nice touch), a cool rustic shack that serves as the off-display building, a training wall, and a hollow log for kids to crawl into to see a little cave. One of the most surprising features I found was that there was no barrier featured in a small portion of the exhibit, but a bit of hotwire that almost makes the exhibit blend into the hill in the background. I haven't see it in its full glory in summer yet, but I'm proud to say that Otter Passage is an excellent addition to Milwaukee, it's right up there with the Aviary as the Zoo's best exhibit area, and is a strong start to the brand-new master plan.

    Photos coming soon!
     
  5. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    What time did you see the elephants outside? I went over there three times and nothing. Glad to here your thoughts on the otter exhibit echo mine. Hopefully the zoos future projects can live up to expectations.

    Also I forgot to mention, if looks like their is a hose built into the ground by the watering hole area, possibly to spray the elephants from the pool.
     
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  6. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

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    It was around 1:45. They were in a small area by a large mock rock formation that was part of the old brown bear exhibit. Is that the demo yard?
     
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  7. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    I believe that is the off exhibit yard. The demo yard is connected to it and is the yard that has the rock barrier.
     
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  8. EsserWarrior

    EsserWarrior Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of the jaguars, is their popularity the reason why they were the only non-Asian species being kept in the renovation plans for the new Asian Forest area?

    --

    Also, I did see the new otter exhibit twice - as I went there twice in one week not too long ago - and I was really impressed! People loved watching the otters run around in their beautiful new exhibit.
     
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  9. MKE Zoo guy

    MKE Zoo guy Well-Known Member

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    Looking at the zoo map for the winter/spring, it doesn’t indicate any new animals coming to the 1st phase. Has anyone heard of transfers from other zoos?
     
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  10. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member

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    Interesting to me that Lincoln Park, Milwaukee and less recently Brookfield, all exhibited Jaguars alongside big cats and all became or are becoming challenged for what to do with them when they switched to geographic themes, as none of the three have a dedicated Amazon area. (Though Brookfield has a slice of it in Tropic World.) While the predicament is fairly realistic, I'm mostly finding it interesting that all three facilities fell into it, though Brookfield hasn't held Jaguars in 25+ year.s.
     
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  11. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Normally I don't pay much attention the that stupid 'worst zoos for elephants' list IDA puts out every year, but this year I couldn't help but notice that seemingly every local news station has a story about Milwaukee being on that list on their website. This year is the year that the elephant care improved as well...

    I was really hoping that Adventure Africa Phase I would sort of 'kickstart' the rest of the zoo's plans, and while I still believe that will be the case, I think the media coverage of IDA's stupid list will hinder this a bit.
     
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  12. MKE Zoo guy

    MKE Zoo guy Well-Known Member

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    Overall, I think this falls back on to Milwaukee zoo, and the poor PR. This list comes out every year and every year Milwaukee some how falls back on this list. Instead of highlighting the positives of the new exhibit and combating some of the things that are on the list with the new exhibit, instead they kinda just let it slide. They only talk about how they are one of the few of the accredited institutions and meet the new criteria. That thinking only gets them so far, also I don't think people fully understands the accreditation process. Help the public to understand that the exhibit is meeting the needs, show them inside the new elephant barn, show the steps that the zoo is making to better enrich the elephants lives.

    Overall the zoo needs to market itself better and get out there and control the message. If this will be the year of Adventure Africa Phase I. The zoo needs to start marketing, creating buzz social media, general excitement. I know we are only 10 days into the new year but that doesn't mean they couldn't of showed into the the elephant barn or the new stables for the hoof stock or something to start getting people excited.
     
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  13. JVM

    JVM Well-Known Member

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    I'm in a different news district but you're probably correct; if the news coverage becomes focused on the criticism it'll overshadow the exhibit's opening. The possible hope and silver lining is that a listing in January and an exhibit opening in May could be far enough apart that the general public may mistake the renovation as an improvement on the poorer exhibit they'd heard about months earlier.

    All that said, every zoo is the worst zoo for elephants if you're predisposed to believe that elephants are unsuitable for captivity.

    From my first visit a decade and a half ago on I have been consistently underwhelmed by Milwaukee's presentation and marketing. I would compare the marketing for Lincoln Park here in Chicago, which paints an almost effortless image of one of the top institutions in the country, which even that zoo's admirers know is not prevailing opinion in this community - but nonetheless, it speaks volumes about the strength of their image and messaging.
     
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  14. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

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  15. MKE Zoo guy

    MKE Zoo guy Well-Known Member

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    Finally some good PR! Although the article ended abruptly and talking about the list...

    I wonder if there is going to be a walk through to the snow leopard area or not. It doesn’t appear to but one can hope.
     
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  16. MKE Zoo guy

    MKE Zoo guy Well-Known Member

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    Did we have 2 or 3 of the cinerous vultures in the savannah exhibit?
     
  17. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    Two I believe.
     
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  18. MKE Zoo guy

    MKE Zoo guy Well-Known Member

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    Well good news we got a 3rd one now
     
  19. savetherhino

    savetherhino Well-Known Member

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    another bird arrived?
     
  20. MKE Zoo guy

    MKE Zoo guy Well-Known Member

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    When I was there today there was 3 cinerous vultures outside. So I’m assuming yes?
     
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