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Roger Williams Park Zoo New Masterplan Announced

Discussion in 'United States' started by Zooplantman, 21 May 2015.

  1. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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  2. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    I'm glad they want to get penguins back. I miss having them there. Do they really mean Sea Lions or are they really just renovating the Harbor Seal exhibit (the Seals are one of my favorites)? Also, I hope they try and think about what going to happen in whats going to happen in a few decades (I sincerely want it to be decades away) when their Elephants get old, but like I said it is hopefully decades away. I'm probably jumping the gun more than a little. I like that they have Elephants there. I think that Africans are very appropriate for RWPZ because we used to have Mastodons running around New England.
     
  3. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    The renovation of the seal exhibit is very good because the current one is very outdated.

    I think it is very important for the RWPZ to keep their elephants, because they are very lucky to have them, but do not seem to take advantage of that. They screwed up by not breeding them since they were brand new genes but now they are too old and AI failed.

    One thing that I think is very important for their elephant exhibit, is to build a sound proof barrier next to the highway, because it probably bothers the elephants to constantly hear the sounds of cars passing like that.

    I think they could move the giraffes to some other area in the zoo, like where bison are, and then move the bison to share a exhibit with pronghorn, and expand the elephant barn to where the giraffes are currently.

    I think it would be much more beneficial for the roger williams park zoo to focus on their elephants a lot more, even if it means sacrificing some other animals, kind of like how the National Zoo got rid of their rhino, hippos, and giraffes for their new elephants complex (not to imply that RWPZ can or should make something so huge that it is comparable to the National Zoo's habitat, just that they could make sacrifices to achieve a better elephant program).
     
  4. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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  5. Milwaukee Man

    Milwaukee Man Well-Known Member

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  6. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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  7. DavidBrown

    DavidBrown Moderator Staff Member

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    If they build a rain forest exhibit as planned maybe they will bring in a wider diversity of animals?

    This zoo was famous at one time for their captive breeding program (and exhibition of?) American burying beetles. Is that program still going?

    It seems weird that they debated whether they could have lions or tigers? With polar bears off the table why not build exhibits for both? Their explanation that tropical animals aren't a good fit for the zoo is rather specious when in the same story they talk about their commitment to keeping elephants!
     
  8. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    Most of the animals in the new building will be from the previous building. There may be diversity in the smaller animals, as they are adding aquatic tanks which can hold a variety of species. The newer, larger animals are maned wolves and a monkey species tbd.

    They still work with the beetles. It is off-show in a behind-the-scenes area.
    They cut down the africa section to elephants, giraffes, cheetah, red river hogs and are adding colobus and another species tbd. They're deacquisitioning their zebra, wildebeest and barbary sheep. The Lion explanation is weird. Basing them as a warmer species when many zoos that have hard winters display them. Strange, no? The elephants are locked away in a small building shared with masai giraffes. The elephant "day room" is small, and has concrete flooring. The elephant stalls in the back, some have sand floors. Can't see the elephants if they are comfortable in their stalls. So three cows are stuffed into a small area for our viewing pleasure. The Masai have a slightly smaller "day room" with concrete floors. They usually have 4-5 Giraffe in this area. The Giraffe holding area is half the size of the elephants. Stall after stall on concrete. Zoos like Omaha are offering their giraffes flooring consisting of mulch that is deep enough to ease their joints and not having the calves drop 6 feet onto shavings covering concrete flooring. The Masai exhibit yard is small. About a quarter of an acre, if that.
     
  9. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    If I had my way the giraffe would be sent somewhere else (either to another part of the zoo or another zoo entirely) and the Elephants would have an expanded house/yard. Thankfully Providence is usually somewhat balmy (at least compared to the inland areas) due to its proximity to Narragansett Bay; more often than not it will be above 40 degrees for at least part of the day. But last winter...and I'm hearing that there might be another bad one according to one of the farmers I speak with. I hope the Girls like snow, if they are allowed out in it on warmer days. God willing we have either another long fall or failing that an early spring for their benefit. I'm not saying that they ought not to have Elephants, the opposite actually but I would like to see things fancied up.

    I have always thought that the wash stall should have some rubber horse mats, might be easier on their joints.
     
  10. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    MINIMUM ADJUSTMENT:
    I think that they should definitely have all the floors be rubber or deep sand for both the giraffes and the elephants in all the stalls/room areas. I also think there should only be 3 giraffes maximum at all times. That is my minimum adjustment they need to make. Anything more would be welcome.

    BETTER ADJUSTMENT:
    The best thing to do would be do what I mentioned above, then move giraffes to the bison exhibit and build a new barn for them there. If the giraffes live in the bison area, then I think it is fine to have 4-5 giraffes maximum. Then give the elephants access to the whole barn and to where the giraffes used to be outdoors. Next make a soundproof barrier next to the highway so the noise doesnt bother the elephants. You could also maybe expand the barn too but idk if it would be super necessary. (PS. I know this would affect their masterplan a lot with where the grizzly bears are going to be located and whatnot)

    When I was at the zoo around earth day the exhibit was much better than I had anticipated (I had low expectations), and they seemed to offer nice substrate, shade, rocks for scratching, and mud outside. The indoors is bad though. And more space in general is always welcome.

    The should also give the elephants much extra enrichment and training opportunities in the winter to help (They might even already do this I am not sure though).

    I really wish that the zoo was allowed to fill in the lake a little bit to give them more space to expand and do things like that since its really in the way and handicaps them a lot (even though the walk is nice). I am glad that on the masterplan they are taking advantage of it by building a moose exhibit right on the water.
     
  11. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    The sound barriers are costly and unless paid for by the zoo and erected, I doubt the state would add them. Soil stabilization to make sure nothing happens to the train tracks right outside the Zoo property.

    Making the indoor dayrooms all sand would cost a small fortune. Underpinning and other structural needs would be needed to make it happen. All while moving the elephants and giraffes while this process is done. There's really no room to expand the barn. They already did when adding the back of house for elephants. That ate into the exhibit area and was sorely needed. The only place to expand would be the giraffe exhibit.

    The lake is part of the wetlands area and they are tying it all into the experience. It used to be foul and mucky and has since been cleaned over the years.
     
  12. ZooElephantsMan

    ZooElephantsMan Well-Known Member

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    Would making the floors rubber be cheaper?

    When I was writing it up I was trying to say to expand it into the giraffe exhibit.

    I know the lake is nice and part of the zoos experience but I wish it was a bit smaller so the zoo had more room to work with for exhibits.
     
  13. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    The value of the article, IMO, is that it reveals how zoo directors and Boards think about their collection. It is not what zoo enthusiasts want to hear, but it reflects the current reality of running a zoo
     
  14. wensleydale

    wensleydale Well-Known Member

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    There are rubber mats that are sold for going into horse stalls, sometimes shavings are put on them to encourage the animal to lie down and they are also often placed in the cross tie areas for the horse to stand on while being groomed and whatnot. They are relatively cheap. I was thinking that getting some would be an improvement that could be made right away; a lot of the time you don't even need to get a professional to install them. Just plop them down and that's it. Even if they just did part of the room.

    They do eventually wear out, in the meantime the zoo could think of something more permanent.

    Or do Elephants and Giraffe need special exotic animal mats?
     
  15. Zooplantman

    Zooplantman Well-Known Member

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    A question for you:
    what do you think an intelligent elephant, well able to manipulate
    her environment, would do with a rubber mat floor?
     
  16. Gulo gulo

    Gulo gulo Well-Known Member

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    I understand that, ZPM. It is nice to think of a collection tolerant of all weather conditions year round so people will not complain about not seeing animals. In the MP, only a few animals if all is built to MP plans will be off-show. They may have indoor quarters, lessening the absence of them not being available for viewing.

    Rubber flooring is nice and all but absorbing and spreading out the cows multiple tons of weight still creates pressure points. I think in the past, they thought this would help but they still strived to do better. Coming up with the sand floors that allowed drainage and can handle the impact of the elephants weight seems to be best. Rubber mats would need to be mega-sized as horse and cows vs. elephants in weight is like a single cherry compared to a massive pumpkin. Mats would probably be super heavy for the keepers to move and clean and would require some sort of machinery to hoist. Meanwhile, the cows can pick them up and much like a flick of the wrist, send the mats elsewhere. Possibly, even into the visitors side of viewing or at keeper staff. In the back of house, the cows have rubber flooring and sand stalls. Which do you think they prefer? Meanwhile, during colder months, they are in the small, day room that has concrete flooring and are bathed, and all other care provided in that one area while on-show. What bugs me is that the entrance and exit doors get held open for people to pass through letting cold air in and warm air out. It is extremely dry in there, air-wise. Imagine taking a shower and someone opens the door or a window and a cold blast hits you. Not pleasant. There should be an effort made via another vestibule or air curtain to keep temperatures indoors the same. Much like at FPZ's Tropical Forest with the long corridors that you enter from the outside before actually entering the building or exiting. Keeps the TF perfect temp for all critters.