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Most Profitable Zoo Animals

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by animalszoos, 26 Oct 2020.

  1. animalszoos

    animalszoos Well-Known Member

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    This may already be an existing thread, however I was wondering which zoo animals are the most money-making in zoos.
    For example pandas may attract more visitors, however the cost of having pandas (not to mention the added government loan costs) most likely means pandas are not money-making.
    Similarly, animals such as duikers are unlikely to attract visitors and therefore will not create much profit.
    I was thinking animals such as lemurs and meerkats attract visitors whilst not being too expensive to keep. Perhaps this applies to bears and big cats as well?
     
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  2. imaginarius

    imaginarius Well-Known Member

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    Pandas, like you said, are a money sink because of their diet and loan costs. Elephants, rhinos, and hippos, despite being popular, also eat an enormous amount of food, so I imagine don’t come out too far ahead, either. Big cats eat less, but they eat meat, which is expensive. Still, lions and tigers are the favorite animals of many, many people, so I doubt they lose zoos many. I’d say things like giant tortoises, which are very popular but relatively low-maintenance, generate good income. Most other herps, too. Low metabolisms mean less food.
     
  3. Zoofan15

    Zoofan15 Well-Known Member

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    In terms of cost effectiveness, monkeys would rate highly. A sizeable troop would be a draw for visitors and many of their food items can be cheaply sourced e.g. free eggs, surplus fruit and vegetables donated by suppliers etc.

    Like the monkeys, species like red pandas would be relatively cost effective due to cheap sources of fruit and eggs. In addition, many zoos like Hamilton Zoo, grow their own bamboo to feed them.

    Big cats would vary depending on species. A single Sumatran tiger would relatively cost effective with cheap meat easily able to be obtained through a supplier; while a pride of lions would be substantially more expensive to feed, while providing little more attraction than the single tiger.
     
  4. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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    I'm generally not fond of the "profitable" metric as a deciding factor in what animals zoos decide to keep, I know that it is an important factor but I don't really think in those terms at all.

    I think we could expand the question into what animals are profitable for zoos to keep in terms of conservation output and it would be a much more interesting thing to contemplate.

    I would imagine that in terms of costs taxa like amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and birds and invertebrates would all be cheaper to keep than larger mammals and a zoo could have a much bigger conservation output at the same time too.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2020
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  5. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  6. Onychorhynchus coronatus

    Onychorhynchus coronatus Well-Known Member

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  7. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    Any animal whose environmental and food needs match nicely with the location of the zoo is cheaper than a more exotic animal whose housing, energy and food requirements are more expensive because they don't match what is cheap locally.. Doesn't necessarily mean native animals though. That's only about overhead. And profit requires that visitors are excited
    Social animals are more popular than solitary animals.
    Animals new to a zoo are more popular (often) than animals the zoo has had for ages.
    Simply put, it isn't really about the species.
    Well, except for sloths
     
  8. Mr. Zootycoon

    Mr. Zootycoon Well-Known Member

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    This is a post from me in another thread about the profitability of zoo animals. It seems to fit this thread very well too.
     
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  9. FBBird

    FBBird Well-Known Member

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    Something that works very well is any enclosure with a pond, parent duck and ducklings. Always attracts attention, whatever the species.
     
  10. PossumRoach

    PossumRoach Well-Known Member

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    I feel among birds parrots are profitable depending on how they are utilized. Their diets may be complex depending on species, but parakeet, cockatiel, and lorikeet feedings are very popular.

    I got this idea bc iirc according to one of loro parque's anniversary videos, the park's creator was planning to make a safari park but started with parrots because they were told to the creator as cheap animals.
     
  11. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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    Last edited: 27 Oct 2020
  12. Sheather

    Sheather Well-Known Member

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    Walk-in budgie aviaries are probably one of the most profitable if not the most profitable zoo animal. The birds themselves can be bought for $10, and many zoos simply breed their own, and the general diet is by itself extremely cheap, seed and grain based pellets. Seed that is already just a few cents a pound is then usually mixed into a binder and stuck to wooden sticks which are then sold in tiny quantities for several dollars each to guests so that they can hold them out and have the budgies land on them to eat. Such exhibits are extremely popular and most certainly pay for themselves very quickly.
     
  13. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Lemurs, Llamas, and Budgies are up there I am sure.
     
  14. Gavinj90

    Gavinj90 Active Member

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    Meerkats.

    Easy to get hold of and take care of. Don't need much space. Simple, cheap diets...

    People bloody love 'em.
     
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  15. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Except in the US, where they are hard to obtain and not very popular. Prairie dogs on the other hand...
     
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  16. EsserWarrior

    EsserWarrior Well-Known Member

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    Unless you're in Wisconsin.

    I'm surprised more facilities in the United States aren't exhibiting kusimanse. They're become more available and don't require the invasive species permits that other species of mongoose do. (I've seen more for sale in the past few months - from different sources - that I've ever seen before.)
     
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  17. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    2 years ago prairie dogs were in every Wisconsin zoo, now they're a rarity.
     
  18. EsserWarrior

    EsserWarrior Well-Known Member

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    Until I start the Esser Family Prairie Dog Farm.
     
  19. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Please do! :p
     
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  20. Great Argus

    Great Argus Well-Known Member

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    This can apply to lorikeets too, my little local facility makes a good chunk off the lorikeet feeding.