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Most Underrated Zoos

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by Yi Qi, 25 May 2019.

  1. Yi Qi

    Yi Qi Well-Known Member

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    In contrast to the Most overrated zoo, what do you think is the most underrated zoo in your opinion? Mine's African Lion Safari, if only for their stellar elephant breeding track record.
     
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  2. devilfish

    devilfish Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure that an isolated single feature like that is enough to qualify a zoo as 'underrated', rather just something which is overlooked.

    There are quite a few places which have pleasantly surprised me but I'll need to think carefully about which might have been among the most underrated.
     
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  3. pachyderm pro

    pachyderm pro Well-Known Member

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    I recently visited the Brevard zoo earlier this year, and despite its relatively small size it was an absolutely wonderful place. Its essentially four large loops representing different biomes each (Africa, Australia & Islands, Florida and South America, the latter of which is being completed renovated reopening at the end of this year). The African Journey area in particular was brilliant, with a large overview of the whole area that doubles as a giraffe feeding station, a superb meerkat exhibit, and even a kayak tour through the entire zone. The Australian section was also very cool with Komodo dragons in outdoor spaces, visayan wary pigs, barbusias and a general very well done job exhibition wise.

    The only real complaint would be the lack of an Asian zone, but once the new "Rising Rainforest" exhibit opens at the end of this year the zoo will be even more excellent and I will gladly make a return.
     
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  4. EmmettTheOtter

    EmmettTheOtter Well-Known Member

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    I would say the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence RI. Nice and small and in a nice little park. Thankfully, they have a master plan that will enhance many of the exhibits. (I think I mainly like it because of the new rainforest exhibit and the fact that I visited on a beautiful day with no crowds).
     
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  5. TheAmurTiger

    TheAmurTiger Well-Known Member

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    The Alaska SeaLife Center is pretty underrated. It's an excellent display of native species, it has Steller's sea lions and breeds them successfully (until they sent the main female away in December, I guess), they rescue species in very remote areas, the wildlife is displayed in amazingly natural environments, the salmon exhibit is astonishing, and the building itself looks nice and is well maintained. Their research has also gotten me reading for very long periods of time lol.
     
  6. Jurek7

    Jurek7 Well-Known Member

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    There are some good zoos in South Africa, Asia and South America, which are unknown outside their home countries.
     
  7. lintworm

    lintworm Well-Known Member

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    I would like to nominate the Auckland Zoo here. It is not underrated by the locals, but on Zoochat as a whole it is pretty much completely overlooked. The zoos African, Australian and American sections are pretty good, but nothing spectacular.

    What sets this zoo apart is their stellar native species section. It basically consists of six walkthrough aviaries, a nocturnal house, a pinniped pool and a range of terraria showcasing native mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and invertebrates from all different habitats. Even from a New Zealand perspective there are some real rarities and for a foreigner, new to NZ, it is full of new species. Enclosures are also of a very high quality, both in terms of cultural theming, as well as animal welfare.
     
  8. Luca Bronzi

    Luca Bronzi Well-Known Member

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    Zoo Delle Maitine in Italy is pretty good and underrated.
    It hasn't the best exhibits,and has its flaws,but it's in my opinion better than the near Zoo di Napoli.
    In general,almost all Italian zoos are underrated and here in zoochat there are few people who take them in consideration;Parco Natura Viva,Oasi di Sant' Alessio and Bioparco di Roma are very good ,for example
     
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  9. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Italy is for some reason almost totally overlooked as a zoo nation on this site.
     
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  10. Luca Bronzi

    Luca Bronzi Well-Known Member

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    Although many months have passed, I wanted to include alsi Zoo De Vincennes near Paris.
    It's pretty good imo.
     
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  11. ThomasNotTom

    ThomasNotTom Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I think that Cotswold Wildlife Park is often overlooked - It has a fantastic setting, some lovely exhibits and some more unusual species for the UK.
     
  12. MonkeyBat

    MonkeyBat Well-Known Member

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    When I visited Nashville this summer, I was shocked by just was beautiful the zoo was. Sure it does have a lack of species, but it's exhibits make up for it all. There was densely planted foliage, and the exhibits were not only beyond adequate for the animals, but beautiful to look at. Take for example the hyacinth macaw exhibit, which is an animal usually put in small aviaries, they were able to construct a beautiful exhibit with branches, dense grass, and trickling waterfalls. I think this zoo deserves much more praise.

    Also underrated is the San Diego Safari Park, which I feel is in the shadow of it's famous counterpart. I consider it my favorite zoo. The landscape is breathtaking, the enclosures are breathtaking, and the experiences are breathtaking.
     
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  13. Arizona Docent

    Arizona Docent Well-Known Member Premium Member

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  14. Pleistohorse

    Pleistohorse Well-Known Member

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    The Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
    The Alaska Zoo
    Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch
     
  15. Youssarian

    Youssarian Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree about Nashville and the Safari Park! I visited both last year and they are both STUNNING. Nashville's exhibits really surprised me with how gorgeous and spacious they were.
     
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  16. AmbikaFan

    AmbikaFan Well-Known Member

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    I think, for purposes here, "underrated" and "overlooked" are pretty much the same thing.
     
  17. Gulopithecus

    Gulopithecus Well-Known Member

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    A shameless plug for one of my local parks, but the Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield, Missouri is an absolutely wonderful aquarium. It has gentoo penguins, various giant Mississippi River fish living in the same tank, the chance to dive in a cage that’s lowered into a sand tiger shark (amongst other species including Giant Groupers) tank, a pair of American Black Bears, Japanese Spider Crabs, and a wonderful room themed after an abandoned vessel (one absolutely beautiful tank is full of what’s supposed to be rusty pipes for moray and garden eels to hide in).
     
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  18. RetiredToTheZoo

    RetiredToTheZoo Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree about Nashville. Very underrated because it's not large in size or species, and is somewhat overshadowed by Memphis, but it is extremely well done.
     
  19. Westcoastperson

    Westcoastperson Active Member

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    I have two: The Singapore zoo(including the river safari, night safari, and bird park) has an extremely diverse collection and has the worlds largest freshwater aquarium tank, and the Big Bear Alpine zoo which started as a rescue center for animals in California who could not be released but now holds Snow leopards and two different wolf packs.
     
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  20. iluvwhales

    iluvwhales Well-Known Member

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    Cleveland Metroparks Zoo (one of the nicest elephant exhibits in the northern United States, I really liked the African hoofstock and wolf/beaver exhibits)
    Detroit Zoo (I say this strictly from a layperson's perspective. Few laypeople would expect spacious exhibits, stellar herptile and penguin houses, and arguably the best polar bear exhibit in America were in Detroit)
    Akron Zoo (fantastic midsize zoo that started building a new Africa exhibit when I saw there which is now open, and now they're planning a new Asia exhibit. I dare say that Akron is a vivacious up and comer in the zoo world)
    Rosamond Gifford Zoo (arguably the most successful [Asian] elephant breeding program in the United States in terms of surviving offspring, plenty of wonderful exhibits such as for hoofstock and tigers)
    Franklin Park Zoo (in need of a facelift, but has some really nice hoofstock and big cat exhibits as well as a cool indoor tropical rainforest exhibit.)
    Dallas World Zoo and Aquarium (huge free-flight aviary, lots of fish, a rare manatee, some penguins, and more a short walk from THE Book Depository Building? Neato! Exhibits for some animals [flamingos, penguins] a bit on the smaller side, but it has everything else going in its favor. Don't turn up on opportunity to visit this Downtown Dallas gem.
    Buffalo Zoo (great indoor rainforest building, otter exhibit, and polar bear exhibit [if a bit small]. The Buffalo Zoo has its share of bad exhibits, but Ill never call the Buffalo Zoo bad, rather showing its age)
     
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