Join our zoo community

Most overrated zoo

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by amur leopard, 25 Mar 2019.

  1. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    5,046
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Shedd is amazing and I still think it's underrated.
     
    TheAmurTiger likes this.
  2. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Nov 2017
    Posts:
    964
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    While I agree that Shedd is an amazing aquarium, is it underrated? Definitely not, It's almost unanimously ranked as one of the top 3 US aquariums and top 5 in the world (it's 3rd on my list), so it can't really be underrated.
     
  3. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    5,046
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I said in my opinion. It is by far my favorite aquarium, and maybe zoological facility in general (out of the ones I have visited).
     
  4. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Nov 2017
    Posts:
    964
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    Out of curiosity, which other aquariums have you been to? In my rankings in the USA it's behind Atlanta, and it's also behind Valencia. I love the Shedd but it lacks one Incredible exhibit, which Atlanta has in Ocean Voyageur and Valencia has in the design/look of the aquarium.
     
  5. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    5,046
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    To be fair, I haven't visited many aquariums.

    Reiman Aquarium (Milwaukee)
    SEA LIFE Minnesota (Saint Paul)
    World Aquarium (Saint Louis, closed yesterday)
    ...and, of course, Shedd. I have been meaning to get down to Atlanta to see the Georgia Aquarium, but I just haven't yet.
     
    TZDugong likes this.
  6. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,745
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    Ocean Voyager is undeniably an absolutely incredible exhibit, but I'd argue it's the only really noteworthy exhibit at the aquarium. I found the rest of the aquarium to be very meh in exhibitry.

    ~Thylo
     
  7. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Nov 2017
    Posts:
    964
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I though the ColdWater Quest zone was good, and the freshwater and coral reef areas were nice as well. I think the other areas seem worse because of just how brilliant Ocean Voyager is, but they're still good exhibits.
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  8. Julio C Castro

    Julio C Castro Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    12 Jul 2019
    Posts:
    204
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Oh wow I just started reading most of this thread and it’s very interesting seeing all the different opinions being heard out :) I don’t have much experience going to many zoos due to not being as financially capable until most recently, my most visited zoo is the LA Zoo since I am about a 15 minute drive from my home. Other zoos visited would be SDZSP and SDZ which I truly loved dearly, it felt as if I was in Jurassic Park haha I may not have the best opinion due to my limited knowledge and visits to zoos.

    Regarding most overrated, I feel the SDZ is probably my choice. Please don’t get me wrong: I loved this zoo as well as the safari park! It took me 2 whole days to see approximately 95% of the zoo, me and my gf took our time seeing the exhibits since it was her dream to visit since a child :) The reason I say it may be overrated is due to some exhibits being at times somewhat similar to some at the LA Zoo, particularly for the hoofstock. Both zoos have a good number of hoofstock species yet I felt a bit underwhelmed with the exhibits at SDZ. I know the LA Zoo isn’t much to look at for many from a zoo nerd point of view, I’m very happy with the modern master plan that recently was finished although some obvious eyesores present. I am very well aware that it has very long ways to go to becoming a great zoo, which I have faith that the new master plan set to take 2 decades to finish it once started next year hopefully.

    I’m sorry for sidetracking, now back to SDZ. It’s definitely a great zoo, fantastic collections that are sure to please zoo nerds and regular zoo goers of all ages. My gf and I did feel that most of the animals appeared to be happy or at least exhibiting some normal behaviors like socializing or inquisitive nature. My favorite regions would be in this order: Africa Rocks, Lost Forest, and Elephant Odyssey. Yes I know EO gets so much criticism about the theme and exhibit designs, probably the exhibit that may have needed better planning would be for the big cats in this region. The big cats, jaguar and lions, appear to be a bit cramped in from. I think the reason I do like it is due to it trying to replicate life from thousands of years ago, admittedly I’m an amateur paleontology nerd so that may be some of the reason why. As for the other regions posted, Africa Rocks and Lost Forest kept drawing me back every day for the 2 days we spent there. Africa Rocks does appear to have large exhibits for most of their species, the primates and aviary exhibits were stellar. Seeing the primates, Gelada and Hamadryas Baboons, being so active and social drew us to those areas for longer periods of times. The aviary had nesting behaviors happening as soon as you walked and I feel that a good chunk of birds are visible, a qualm I’ve noticed that some aviaries have due to some birds’ shy and timid nature. As for Lost Forests, it made me feel as if I was traveling in the forests of the world. Highlights would be the hippos, bonobos, the aviaries, gorillas, orangutans/siamang shared exhibit, and lastly tiger exhibit. The tiger exhibit seemed a bit underwhelming due in its size yet it had a wonderful appearance. All these regions are areas I’ll want to continue to visit in future visits, also assuming the Children’s Zoo will be fantastic due to the concepts shown. Just the sheer number of species at SDZ is a factor to draw many people in and allows for millions to visit in order to see animals that may be hard or near impossible for regular folk.

    Why I think it may be a bit overrated is due to often overshadowing the SDZSP, perhaps my favorite zoo so far and I think will remain in my top 10 once I visit more fine zoos in the US :) Almost anyone I’ve known in my own life who’s been to the SDZ seem to forget that the SDZSP exists or if they are even related. From my visit that I had for my birthday weekend earlier this month, I felt that the SDZSP is my favorite and better than SDZ. It’s not a vast margin that it’s better than the SDZ, but there are couple reasons I, even my gf, think this way.

    1. Spacious exhibits: It is home to so many large animals, herding animals, flocking birds, and big cats. I didn’t feel that any particular exhibit was weak. The standouts were Tiger Trail, Lion Camp, Elephant Valley, African Plains, and Walkabout Australia. Almost all of the animals each of this areas/exhibits appeared to have more than enough space to roam and not seem bored. Tiger Trail was my personal favorite, perhaps my favorite exhibit of any I’ve seen. They had 3 different yards for tigers, rotating them so they aren’t ever truly bored and have new things to explore. In the span of 30 minutes, my gf and I saw the tigers doing the following: stalking, looking for food, walking around to explore perimeter, jumping into rocky platforms, and vocalizing. The design of having 3 yards was a good move due to the amount of tigers they have, I think I overheard a guide say they have 7 tigers but I can be wrong. It felt very immersive for both guests and the tigers, designed well to handle large crowds. To summarize, the SDZSP has large exhibits and some well designed.

    2. Behavior: I know I touched upon it on number 1 but wanted to go into further depth. Tiger Trail displayed very active tigers that were exploring almost every corner of their exhibit, resting when they wanted to and being active at almost all times. I have heard that carnivores seem to have difficulties displaying normal behavior due to their exhibit size or design, I didn’t find that to be the issue at SDZSP. Lions at Lion Camp were admittedly lazy, their normal M.O. But when not napping, they would roar, examine their perimeter, mark their scents, and interact with one another as seen in documentaries. Elephants, giraffes, rhinos, antelope, bovine, and birds all appeared to be very contempt with their homes. Seeing the herding behaviors while grazing or being spooked by the caravan really echoed with me.

    Finally to end this long rant, I do very much love and appreciate the SDZ wholeheartedly. They do amazing work and have great exhibits that display so many species I never thought I’d ever be able to see. But at the end of the day, it does appear to get more hype than the SDZSP in general and rightfully so at times. Albeit you do need to pay quite a lot to see their field exhibits. But seeing that I probably won’t be able to go to Africa for a long time, the SDZSP is more than just a fair compromise but a fantastic zoo!
     
    Last edited: 29 Nov 2019
  9. Luke da Zoo nerd

    Luke da Zoo nerd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Oct 2019
    Posts:
    424
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    San Diego zoo in my opinion, is really overrated. Well it has nice enclosures, and it is a large zoo, it actually doesn't have a that outstanding collection.
     
  10. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,947
    Location:
    the world of tomorrow
    Have you been to San Diego Zoo?
     
    Cat-Man likes this.
  11. Luke da Zoo nerd

    Luke da Zoo nerd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Oct 2019
    Posts:
    424
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    I have, yes.

    Let me Rephrase what I said earlier. It has a great collection, but I mean- It used to be famous for its rarity. But currently every single species in its zoo can be found In different zoological parks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 3 Dec 2019
  12. Luke da Zoo nerd

    Luke da Zoo nerd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Oct 2019
    Posts:
    424
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Go @birdsandbats! I agree wholeheartedly!
     
  13. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    5,046
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    That's not true. Off the top of my head I can name the Micronesian Scrubfowl, and I'm sure there are others. Even if they are found at a few other collections, many of the species kept at SDZ are very, very rare in captivity.
     
    Anniella, ThylacineAlive and TZDugong like this.
  14. Luke da Zoo nerd

    Luke da Zoo nerd Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    29 Oct 2019
    Posts:
    424
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    That could be true, but I'm just saying the people who think the SDZ's collection is rare is a overstatement.
     
  15. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Sep 2017
    Posts:
    5,046
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Not at all - many of the species at the zoo - especially where birds and reptiles are concerned - are quite rare in captivity. The majority of their collection? Probably not. But much more than most other zoos? Absolutely.
     
  16. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Nov 2017
    Posts:
    964
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I’m a little confused by this statement. As someone has already pointed out, they do have species unique to their collection, but also, a species being located in only one zoological facility is incredibly uncommon. Even most species that are rare in captivity are located in multiple facilities (Pangolin or Tuatara for example). San Diego has a lot of rare animals in their collection, just because a species isn’t solely represented at San Diego doesn’t mean that it isn’t rare.
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  17. Chlidonias

    Chlidonias Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    13 Jun 2007
    Posts:
    23,947
    Location:
    the world of tomorrow
    It's probably worth pointing out, too, that a species being kept by only one zoo isn't actually a good thing...
     
    Cat-Man, Zia, SHAVINGTONZOO and 7 others like this.
  18. ThylacineAlive

    ThylacineAlive Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    20 Oct 2012
    Posts:
    8,745
    Location:
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    As someone who agrees that SDZ is highly overrated, this is a bizarre statement to me. San Diego has a lot of species that no one else in the US keeps, or that maybe only one or two other collections keep (with the second collection often being the OTHER San Diego). Some species may only be rare in the US, but many are still rare worldwide. For instance, only four zoos worldwide keep Papuan Mountain-Pigeon, and only two of them are in the US.

    @TZDugong pangolin? Have a missed some big news or are you referring to the education animal that died many years ago now?

    ~Thylo
     
    Anniella likes this.
  19. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    17 Nov 2017
    Posts:
    964
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    I was using those two as examples of rare species in general, not just species at SDZ. I knew that SDZ no longer kept pangolins, but to be honest, Pangolin and Tuatara were just the first species that came to mind.

    I can see that what I said was definitely a little confusing.
     
    ThylacineAlive likes this.
  20. koala7

    koala7 Member

    Joined:
    22 Feb 2020
    Posts:
    6
    Location:
    California
    Maybe it’s just me, but I think San Diego is considered “overrated” because people come thinking it is a perfect zoo with a high bar. While some areas are world class like lost forest, I can understand why there are so many complaints. Urban jungle is obviously bad, Asian passage as well but I heard they are trying to change it soon. Elephant odyssey really hasn’t gotten much appreciation either, but even though it may not be the best i think it adds an element of character, something I don’t think the zoo has much of. I feel they should revamp some sections into something you can’t see anywhere else. This doesn’t mean animals necessarily, but something special that maybe has never been done before. For example, Lost forest mainly has animals you can see elsewhere, like tigers, hippos, okapis, orangutans, gorillas, etc. What makes it special is how it really makes you feel like you’re in the jungle and the overall experience. I think to prove that they deserve to be called the best, San Diego needs to get out of the comfort zone. A lot. Africa rocks is cool, but I think San Diego can do EVEN better than that!
     
    amur leopard and ThylacineAlive like this.