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Most elusive zoo animals

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by PAKMan, 22 Sep 2021.

  1. PAKMan

    PAKMan Well-Known Member

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    What, in your experience, have been the most elusive animals to see at the zoo? I'm referring to animals that the zoo has, but you've either never seen or have never seen being active.

    Lincoln Park Zoo has two of them; the beavers and the aardvark. I have literally never seen the beavers. There are some wild ducks that also call the beaver exhibit home, but the beavers are always no-shows. And while I've seen the aardvark, I've never seen her active. Every time I go to the zoo, she's asleep. Most of the time she's sleeping in her den but the last time I went she was actually out in the open...but still asleep.
     
  2. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I actually came into this thread intending to mention beavers and Aardvark. Wolves are another animals that are often a no-show.
     
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  3. Aardwolf

    Aardwolf Well-Known Member

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    I've been a keeper for both beavers and an aardvark (different zoos). I've had plenty of visitors at both facilities refuse to believe that either animal was actually present and that the exhibits were really empty. It's a shame, because both are really cool animals with lots of awesome adaptions and important ecosystem roles, and when they are active, they can be quite a draw.

    As to your question, I'd say a lot of the small carnivores. They are either 100% on and very engaging, or completely invisible. For example, I've been to Bronx three times, never got to see the ring-tailed mongoose.
     
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  4. Crowthorne

    Crowthorne Moderator Staff Member

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    Civets in general for me, have been to a couple of zoos especially to see their civets (Owston's Palm and Banded in particular), only for the first to be a no-show, and the second just a very brief glimpse as it jumped back into it's nest box.
     
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  5. Thearmadillo

    Thearmadillo Well-Known Member

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    At the Toronto zoo they used to have giant pandas and they were all ways sleeping.
     
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  6. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Despite trying a few times on a couple of visits, I never saw the hairy-eared dwarf lemur at Paris Vincennes.
     
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  7. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member

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    Siberian flying squirrel - missed at Plzen and Schonebeck
    and the Red and White Giant Flying Squirrel at Wroclaw .
     
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  8. twilighter

    twilighter Well-Known Member

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    The Aardwolf gave me really hard time at Halle zoo ! I change my schedule, slept at Halle and visited the zoo second day. Luckily he showed up on the morning.
     
    Last edited: 22 Sep 2021
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  9. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    I saw a red and white giant giant flying squirrel at Bangkok. The notice said it was a flying lemur.
     
  10. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    Funny, I've seen beavers 100% of the time, and usually see aardvarks, depending on the zoo.

    Maned wolves especially. I've had really good luck with them and will time visits around seeing them, but I've never seen Philly's, for example, and that's the zoo my membership is with.

    Cheetahs can be pretty elusive. I rarely see giant anteaters :( Nocturnal exhibit animals tend to be a miss for me, between having trouble seeing in the light and the animals often sleeping.

    The :mad: elephant seal at Pittsburgh. I've decided I'm done doing the 5 hour drive (each way) to try and see her, she's never out and the employees are always super rude when I try to ask if she might be out at all that day.
     
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  11. Haliaeetus

    Haliaeetus Well-Known Member

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    For me, Bettongs, Sugar Gliders, Tupaias and Civets are the best candidates for the place of the most elusive animals, especially in daylight exhibits (I've no experience of them in nocturamas). I could add Beavers, Armadillos and Clouded Leopards.
    I'm much more surprised with a large animal as the Elephant Seal!
     
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  12. Ursus

    Ursus Well-Known Member

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    Pudu.
     
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  13. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I've never missed a Cheetah, funnily enough. :D
     
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  14. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    They rotate her with a pair of California sea lions. I love sea lions, but I get so grumpy when I see that pair :D I've tried finding out if she might be out later or something, I'd gladly stay a few more hours to see her vs doing another 10+ hour round trip!, but the staff have been awful.
     
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  15. TinoPup

    TinoPup Well-Known Member

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    You don't have many cheetah exhibits up your way :p
     
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  16. Neil chace

    Neil chace Well-Known Member

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    Some frequent no-shows I've experienced are:
    - Nocturnal Primates
    - Sloths, especially if they are in large aviaries
    - Brush-tailed Bettong, in diurnal settings
    - Smaller Birds in mixed species aviaries
    - Wolves, of all species
    - Kiwis

    Normally, I believe that no-shows has as much or even more to do with exhibit design than the animal's natural behavior. Some zoos can design a habitat for a species and have it be super visible all the time, while others can have the same animal and be hard to spot due to differences in exhibit design.
     
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  17. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    The hoatzin in Shedd :)
     
  18. Bengal Tiger

    Bengal Tiger Well-Known Member

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    I may have caught a fleeting glimpse when I went in 2019 ;) :p
     
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  19. ZooNerd1234

    ZooNerd1234 Well-Known Member

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    Despite living in Illinois, I've only seen Brookfield's Pangolin once in my lifetime. (Of course now its off exhibit)
     
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  20. BerdNerd

    BerdNerd Well-Known Member

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    The most elusive animal in my experience would be the Black Crake. This small bird was a no-show for me at 3 different zoological establishments having missed it at San Diego, then twice at Kansas City, and then at Omaha. It was probably the animal that has evaded me for the longest, until I visited Sylvan Heights and I finally found it in one of their small aviaries. Even then, I would’ve missed it for a 5th time, if I hadn’t seen it through the bush it was hiding in.
     
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