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Most overrated zoo

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

  1. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    To be fair, if you go to visit any zoo thinking before-hand that it'll be perfect, then you will leave the zoo disappointed, because no zoo is perfect.
    This I completely disagree with. The wonderful plant-life and general "tropical" feel, the numerous steep canyons and even the 1930's-era Reptile house gives San Diego a lot of character.
    For Mammals I agree it isn't the most unique species-wise (although there are some really nice primates), but for Birds there are some really nice species.
    But what even is San Diego's comfort zone? Their last two major developments, Elephant Odyssey and Africa Rocks are pretty risky for exhibits with a massive budget; Elephant Odyssey was a $45 million dollar exhibit that's theme was centered around animals that are extinct, while Africa Rocks was a $70 million dollar exhibit that had African Penguins as its drawcard species.
     
  2. koala7

    koala7 Member

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    completely agree with you on all of the points. I actually like elephant odyssey because it is something different, I would have thought it would have been known as a bigger attraction, ya know? I do get why some people don’t like it though, the elephant exhibit is big but not really too eye-catching. As for Africa rocks, not saying it’s a bad thing, but there are plenty of lemurs and African penguins at other places. I get they used well known species to get people, and hey it worked so they can’t really complain. But it is cool they made a whole African area not using the usual African animals, I liked that, but was a little surprised considering they have a few scattered around not really in an area for them (cheetah, zebra and antelope near polar bears) That would be cool if they tried that with Asian animals where the Asian passage is. They could even put in the rhinos from urban jungle there so they could do something with urban jungle considering it really isn’t the greatest.
     
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  3. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure whether it's just the pure history behind many of them, but I feel as if zoos such as London, Paris Menagerie, Vienna, Antwerp... have much more charisma and character. Is that just a result of the buildings being older, more history etc.?
     
  4. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    A zoo I've never visited but comes in for a bit of criticism on here yet is adored by the public is Singapore Night Safari. I've got friends (enthusiasts and muggles) who rate it highly, but the majority of enthusiasts are pretty quick to criticise certain elements. The same thoughts could be levelled at River Safari and the zoo as well, but to a lesser extent.
     
  5. aardvark250

    aardvark250 Well-Known Member

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    I think Night Safari win by the experience, the fact that they are no night safari in Europe or America make it interesting. I actually quite enjoy it. It is a bit overrated if you only count the tram ride though.
    River safari doesn't seems to get the fame night safari is doing, and I do think it certainly isn't better than night safari. (Shameless self-advertising:Check out my thread for more details on those zoos, appear soon)
     
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  6. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    Sort of, but keep in mind that San Diego is a completely different kind of zoo then the ones you've mentioned. All the old European zoos have dozens of heritage listed buildings, whereas San Diego's only major animal building is the reptile house. Some of the European zoos are over 200 years old while San Diego is around 100 (and very little of the original zoo is still around. San Diego has steep canyons, waterfalls and a jungle-like atmosphere, while the older European zoos are focused more on architecture (which isn't a bad thing!).

    So in summary; San Diego has a lot of character, it's just different than the kinds you will find in Europe or even more Northern U.S zoos.
     
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  7. amur leopard

    amur leopard Well-Known Member

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    So what is the most charismatic American zoo? Bronx? Philly? DWA?
    In Europe it is probably a toss up between Paris Menagerie and Pairi :D
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Pairi has character but I think calling it charismatic is pushing matters a bit :p

    Now TP Berlin and Alpenzoo are up there!
     
  9. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    I've actually been to all three of the ones you suggested; Bronx is probably a candidate, with all the old houses mixed with cutting-edge exhibitry; Philly has some unique exhibits (Zoo360) and some nice old buildings, although not as many as I expected; DWA is just a big tropical house.

    I don't really think the U.S has a single most charismatic zoo given all the differences between zoos in exhibit design, age, etc. Personally, Cincinnati was very charismatic, although the Living Desert Zoo was as well, for completely different reasons.:)
     
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  10. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    It is indeed a shadow of its former self. It was once a great- if somewhat cramped for space, animal collection. Quite when the rot set in I can't remember now- somewhere between the 1970-1990 period I think, and leading up to its near closure in the 1990's economic recession. It has never really recovered since, IMO, and has an empty feel with largely the same buildings but a much reduced collection. But its reputation still seems to survive nonetheless.
     
    Last edited: 25 Feb 2020
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  11. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Loss of the founder= loss of direction. A fairly common situation in the zoo world.
     
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  12. Ebirah766

    Ebirah766 Well-Known Member

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    If I may butt in, Bronx is an amazing zoo with great exhibitry and a god species list.
     
  13. Imperator Furiosa

    Imperator Furiosa Well-Known Member

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    The Dallas World Aquarium was definitely overrated in my opinion. Sure it has some incredibly rare species on display but so many of the exhibits were too small or felt lackluster, especially for the birds and herpetiles. It was also very cramped and claustrophobic, I ended up with a migraine from how loud and stuffy it was.
     
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  14. TZDugong

    TZDugong Well-Known Member

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    I agree completely with this. I visited last November and was quite excited to visit due to the all the rare species, although I was expecting some bad exhibits. In-person though, the exhibits are really quite poor, fish aside I wonder how many exhibits would even be of average size for the animals they contain. It didn't help that I missed the Yapoks and Torrent Ducks!

    If I were to visit the Dallas area again I'd only go to see the Yapoks and Torrent Ducks, if 1 of the 2 left the collection I probably wouldn't bother visiting.
     
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  15. Imperator Furiosa

    Imperator Furiosa Well-Known Member

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    I missed the yapok as well, although I've heard they may no longer keep it? They had one of the worst caiman lizard exhibits I've seen if not the worst, the animals had almost no vertical space and little access to water. The exhibit for the juvie dwarf caimans was also pretty abysmal. Many of the bird exhibits didn't have room for the animals to fly around. The lack of signage was also incredibly frustrating, I saw over a dozen animals that I was unable to identify. I don't necessarily regret going there but it paled in comparison to the Fort Worth Zoo, which I visited the next day and has become one of my favorite zoos.
     
  16. The Speeding Carnotaurus

    The Speeding Carnotaurus Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of charisma, Shedd Aquarium’s mix of older more classic architecture with the recent modern expansions of the Oceanarium and Wild Reef has always appealed to me. Not even mentioning their vast species collection.

    It may not be THE most charismatic zoo in the USA, but I think it’s pretty charming.
     
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  17. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Member

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    Yes definitely but while the San Diego zoo has a wide collection some of their exhibits(Lion, leopard, rhino, giraffe) are disappointing.
     
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  18. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I think Como Park Zoo is overrated. Average species in average enclosures. The few rarities they have are too good at hiding to ever be seen.
     
  19. Gondwana

    Gondwana Well-Known Member

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    I like Como more than most, but would agree that neither the collection nor the exhibits stand out from typical zoos. I don't think that makes it overrated though, because I don't think anyone is putting it on the level of San Diego or Bronx. As for rarities, I'd assume you mean the tropical birds, most of which can be reliably seen by staking out the feeders.
     
  20. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    I tried that. :p On all three of my visits. All is saw was Saffron Finches, a few Blue-Gray Tanagers, and a split seconds view of some sort of cotinga.